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Frederic Francois Chopin 





(St. gtonstan's ^ousr 

Fetter Lane, Fleet Street, E.C. 



So much has already been written concerning 
Frederic Chopin and his work, that it would 
at first sight seem unnecessary to add further 
to the list. Nevertheless, it is only quite 
recently that the truth concerning many points 
in his career has come to light. Moreover, a 
great part of the Chopin literature is so highly 
coloured and overdrawn, and contains so little 
that is reliable as to render it practically 
worthless. Therefore I have endeavoured 
to put forward a true, concise, and unexag- 
gerated account of the composer's life, and to 
point out some of the most characteristic 
features of his work. To assist me towards 
the accomplishment of the first of these en- 


deavours, I have had the valuable assist- 
ance of, amongst others, Professor Niecks's 
excellent and comprehensive Life of Chopin, 
which is the most recent and exhaustive of 
the works on this musician. Further, my in- 
formation has been derived from newspapers, 
magazines, foreign biographies, and from cor- 
respondence with a few of those who had the 
good fortune to make the master's acquaint- 
ance either abroad, or during the short time 
he spent in this country. The line of action 
which I have adopted with regard to the 
analysis of the works is neither wholly tech- 
nical nor wholly emotional. Whatever the 
matter under discussion best admitted of, and 
whatever seemed to me most necessary, I have 
endeavoured to supply. In conclusion, while 
expressing my obligations to the authors and 
publishers of those works (a list of which is 
appended) to which I have referred, I may state 


that I have used almost exclusively Messrs. 
Breitkopf & Hartel's edition of Chopin's com- 
plete works, except in such cases as where 
it has been necessary to compare the various 



London, I4=th February 1892. 


Frederic Chopin as a Man and Musician. By Frederick 
Niecks. (London : Novello, Ewer & Co.) 

Chopin, and other Musical Essays. By Henry T. Finck. 
(London : T. Fisher Unwin.) 

Frederic Chopin. By Franz Liszt, translated by M. W. 
Cook. (London : W. Keeves.) 

Life and Letters of Frederic Chopin. By Moritz Karasowski, 
translated from the German by Emily Hill. (London : 
W. Reeves.) 

The Works of Frederic Chopin, and their Propter Interpretation. 
By Jean Kleczynski, translated by A. Whitting- 
ham. (London : W. Reeves.) 

Musical Studies. By Francis Hueffer. (Edinburgh: 
A. & C. Black.) 

George Sand. By Bertha Thomas. (London: W. H. 
Allen & Co.) 

Letters from Majorca. By Charles W. Wood, F.R.G.S. 
(London : Bentley & Son.) 

Frederic Chopin. By Joseph Bennett. (Novello, Ewer 

Histoire de ma Vie and Correspondance. George Sand. 
(Paris : Calmann Levy.) 

FrMric Chopin. Sa vie et ses ceuvres. Par Mme. A. 
Audley. (Paris : E. Plon et Cie.) 

Les trois Fomans de FrMiric Chopin. Par le Comte Wod- 
zinski. (Paris : Calmann Levy.) 

F. Chopin, Essai de Critique Musicale, Par H. Barbedette. 
(Paris : Heugel et Cie.) 

Les Musiciens Poionais. Par Albert Sowinski. (Paris: 
Le Clere, 1857.) 




Poland and the Poles— Birth of Nicholas Chopin — His 
marriage to Justina Krzyzanowska — Their children — 
Birth of Frederic Chopin — Nicholas Chopin appointed 
Professor to the Warsaw Lyceum — Chopin's first piano- 
forte master — His first appearance in public — His master 
in harmony and counterpoint, Joseph Eisner, . . 1-20 


General misapprehension of the character of Chopin — His 
delicacy — His early education — His love of mimicry — 
His holidays — Early improvisation — He gives two con- 
certs in Warsaw — His first publication — Liszt's exag- 
gerations — Chopin goes to Reinerz — He visits Prince 
Radziwill — Leaves the Lyceum — His early works, Op. 
1, 2, and 3, and Three Polonaises, posthumously pub- 
lished as Op. 71, 21-38 


Frederic's first journey to Berlin, 9th September 1828 — 
Letter to his parents — His impressions of the opera — 
More letters — Returns to Warsaw via Posen and Ziil- 
lichau (anecdote) — Improvisation, its effect upon his 
compositions— The Rondo, Op. 5 — Description of the 
Mazurka — The Mazurkas, Op. G and 7 — Trio for piano, 
violin, and violoncello, Op. 8, 39-60 


Journey to Vienna, July 1829 — First concert in Vienna — His 
sensibility to criticism — Second concert — He attends 


the opera — Return via Prague, Breslau, and Dresden — 
His first love, Constantia Gladkowska — He visits Prince 
Radziwill at Antonin — Concert in Warsaw — Eulogism 
on the part of the press — The effect of Romanticism 
upon pianoforte technique — His Etudes, . . . 61-82 


Letter to Titus Woyciechowsky — Chopin's indecision of 
character — His third concert in Warsaw — He departs 
once more for Vienna — Is joined at Kalisz by his friend 
Titus — A halt at Breslau (anecdote) — His proposed visit 
to Italy prevented — Disappointment at his reception 
by the Viennese — Publishers refuse his works — Titus 
obliged to return to Poland — More about Chopin's 
weakness of character — His daily life — Dr. Malfatti — 
Chopin's disinclination to give a concert — He plays at 
one given by Madame Garcia Vestris — The momentous 
question of ways and means — His departure for Paris 
— Unsatisfactory result of his sojourn in Vienna — The 
Concertos 83-109 


Paris in 1831 — Chopin visits Kalkbrenner — He announces 
his first concert in Paris — Its postponement — It finally 
takes place, 26th February 1S32 — Criticism by Fetis 
— A little affaire d' amour — Financial difficulties — He 
proposes to emigrate — His project circumvented by 
Prince Radziwill — Chopin introduced to the Roth- 
schilds — The turn of the tide— His Nocturnes, . 110-130 


Amelioration in Chopin's position, artistic and financial — 
His physical and mental aspect — His cynicism — John 
Field — His opinion of Chopin — Rellstab's criticisms — 
Chopin's reply thereto — His opinion of Moscheles — 
Chopin and Mendelssohn — The Lower Rhine Festival 


— A musical evening — His dislike to large audiences 
— His friendship and admiration for Bellini — His 
various works — The Bolero, Op. 19; Polonaise, Op. 
22 — Definition of the Scherzo — Chopin's Scherzos, Op. 
20, ,31,39, and 54, 131-151 


Another love affair — His fickle disposition — His ' Ideal ' 
Maria Wodzinska — His early acquaintance with her — 
Frederic journeys to Carlsbad to meet his father — His 
serious intentions towards Miss Wodzinska — At Marien- 
bad — He proposes to and is refused by Miss Wodzinska 
— Fickleness on her part — Chopin returns to Leipsic — 
His meeting with Robert Schumann — Schumann's high 
opinion of Chopin — Return vid Heidelberg — Madame 
George Sand — Her parentage and early life— Chopin's 
Ballades, Op. 23, 38, 47, and 52, . . . . 152-174 


Chopin's opinion of Schumann — His antipathy to the com- 
positions of Liszt — His favourite composers — The 
meeting with George Sand — His first impression of 
the novelist — A short visit to London — His delicate 
health — His visit to the South with George Sand — The 
voyage to Palma — Their arrival and discomfort — 
Severe weather — Description of the Carthusian mon- 
astery — Their privations — Chopin's Preludes, . 175-196 


Life in Majorca — Poor Chopin without a piano — Scarcity 
of good food — Madame Sand's description of Palma — 
Chopin's health becomes worse — His desire to return 
— His sufferings — Utterly prostrated — They leave 
Majorca — The journey to Marseilles — Description of 
the Polonaise — Chopin's Polonaises, . . . 197-212 




Chopin in the doctor's hands — His condition improves — 
He plays at the funeral service of Adolphe Nourrit — A 
short tour in the Italian Riviera — Returns to Nohant — 
Madame Sand's country home — Daily life — Chopin's 
negotiations with his publishers — His sense of humour 
— His good friend Julius Fontana — Chopin's particu- 
larity in dress — His instructions to Fontana — Arrival in 
Paris of Madame Sand and Chopin — Chopin plays at 
the court of St. Cloud — His musical activity — The 
Sonatas, ......... 213-231 


Chopin's power at its zenith — He gives a concert — An 
aristocratic audience — His pianoforte playing — The 
tempo rubato — His use of the pedals — His English 
pupils and publishers — George Sand's attention to 
Chopin — His friends M. and Mme. Leo — His thought- 
lessness — Relations between Chopin and George Sand — 
His Impromptus, 232-251 


The severance of Chopin's connection with George Sand — 
Both sides of the question — Lucrezia Floriani and Prince 
Karol — Chopin proposes to visit London again — He 
gives a farewell concert at Pleyel's rooms in Paris — He 
arrives in London — Goes into London society — He visits 
the Italian Opera and makes the acquaintance of Jenny 
Lind — Some private matinees — Mr. Chorley's criticisms 
— Chopin in Scotland — His description of his life there 
— More criticisms — Returns to London — His Waltzes, 252-273 


Chopin to Grzymala — His despondency and increasing ill- 
health — His anxiety to return to Paris — He remains in 
London for a further two months — He returns to Paris 
— The advance of his disease — Death of his favourite 


physician, Dr. Molin — Writes to Titus Woyciechowski 
to come to him — Chopin installed in the Rue Chaillot — 
Financial difficulties once more — Timely assistance by 
Miss Stirling — Her generosity — He is removed to the 
Place Vendome — His relatives have to be informed of 
his condition — He grows worse and worse — His faithful 
friend and pupil Gutmann — The Countess Delphine 
Potocka — Callousness of Madame Sand — His last 
moments — His death — The funeral service and burial, 274-290 


Various works — Romanticism and classicism — Chopin as a 

composer, 291-303 

List of Chopin's Published Works, . . . . • 305 

Index 312 


E R R A T A 

Page 26, line 16, for Dziewanowski read Dziewauowska. 

,, 33, ,, 16, for his read the. 

» 77, ,, 9, /or having read placing. 

,, 125, ,, 15, for fiorituri read fioriture. 

,, 126, ,, 7, for communicating read commiserating. 

,, 170, ,, 14, for emotion read motion. 

,, 267, ,, 18, for less read less well. 

,, 271, ,, 18, for appogiatur read appogiature. 

the more particularly to that nation which seems 
to have excited the most noticeable, if not the 
greatest, influence upon his work, — for Frederic 
Chopin had within him two distinct nationalities : 
those of Poland and of France. The name Chopin 



is by no means an uncommon one in the latter 
country, nor — apart from trie bearer of it with whom 
we are now concerned — can it be said to be undis- 
tinguished; for by the efforts of Rene Chopin the 
litterateur, and Charles Auguste Chopin the poet, 
it was made, if not famous, sufficiently prominent. 
The original title of the family from which Chopin 
came was, no doubt, Chopin d'Arnouville, for a 
member of that family it was, who, a sufferer by the 
revocation of the Edict of Nantes, fled to Poland. 
And although there is much of uncertainty in con- 
nection with this, as with other theories concerning 
Chopin's ancestry, we can, by accepting it as correct, 
satisfactorily account for that part of the inscription 
on his tombstone which states him to be the fih 
d'un emigre franqais. 

Another version is that Nicholas, the father of 
Frederic Chopin, was the natural son of a Polish 
nobleman who had accompanied King Stanislas to 
Lorraine, and had there taken the name of Chopin. 
Which of these two stories is the correct one we can- 
not tell, for we have little to guide us to a decision 
between them, but such facts as are at our command 


seem to point to the acceptance of the first theory. 
At all events, it is with the Poles and Poland that 
we propose briefly to deal. It was in the fifteenth 
and sixteenth centuries, while under the kings of the 
Jagellon dynasty, that Poland had its most brilliant 
epoch. Under these sovereigns they wrested from 
the Kussians the provinces of Eed Russia, Little 
Russia, and White Russia ; from the Germans those 
of West and East Prussia, Courland, and Livonia ; the 
result being that following these conquests there 
existed in Polish realm three nationalities, about 
four-eighths of the whole population being Russians, 
while three-eighths were Poles, and the one-eighth 
were Germans. As a consequence of this we have 
at the same time some five different religious con- 
fessions in Poland. The Orthodox Greeks, the United 
Greeks (by which is meant Catholics who, while ac- 
knowledging the Pope, observed the Greek ritual), 
the Roman Catholics, the Protestants of the Lutheran 
and those of the reformed Confession. Of these, the 
Russian subjects belonged to the Greek Church, the 
Germans being Protestants. In dealing with these 
conditions the Jagellons were highly successful, but 


such was unfortunately not the case with then- 
successors. The nobles gradually encroached until 
at last all efforts were powerless to restrain them. 
They entirely overpowered all other classes, yet 
were incapable of forming themselves into any- 
thing approaching a stable Government. 

To them belonged all lands that were not appro- 
priated by the Church or by the State. Each noble 
considered himself a sovereign prince, and even judged 
himself empowered not only to contract alliances with 
foreign Powers, but to receive subsidies from them. 

The full meaning of such a state of things we only 
grasp when we find that the nobility at that time 
constituted a fourteenth part of the population ! Nor 
can we be surprised that under the circumstances 
those Russian and German subjects who were sub- 
jugated by the country had little to induce them 
to amalgamate with their rulers. The end of the 
sixteenth century witnessed in Poland a serious 
outbreak of religious strife. The Jesuits, who had 
obtained a powerful influence in the country, de- 
sired that the whole power of the State should be 
placed under the Romish Church, and that war 


should be declared against heresy, both in Poland 
and out of it. As a result of this, the country 
was involved in a series of disastrous wars against 
Russia and Sweden. The power of Poland was now 
well on the decline, and the realm became thoroughly 
demoralised; the culmination being reached in 1772, 
when the treaty of the First Partition of Poland 
was signed. This was no long -prepared scheme ; 
on the contrary, it was a sudden expedient to avert 
a great European war, and its result, as regards the 
territories taken from Poland, was beneficial, inas- 
much as it afforded escape from a hopeless state of 
anarchy which could not have been but disastrous. 
The Poles themselves had utterly destroyed their 
own commonwealth a considerable time before the 
schemes of 1770-72 were thought of. 

As to the character of the people of Poland, it has 
always been remarkable for its brilliant qualities, 
prominent among which are an impetuous bravery, 
restless ambition, and great national pride. Coupled 
with these they possess a passionate excitability and 
a great susceptibility of all intellectual pleasure, while 
they have always been noted for their polish and 


amiability in social intercourse. In the possession 
of most of these qualities they would seem to be at 
one with the French ; indeed they have been called 
the French of the north. Yet notwithstanding the 
great similarity between the two nations, in the mam- 
respects we have noted, there is a difference between 
them which is quite as forcibly marked ; for while 
the highest ideal of the Pole is one of personal free- 
dom from any political restraint, two very character- 
istic points in the French nature are national unity 
and great military discipline. 

Frederick n. does not spare the Poles, whom he 
describes as capable of anything for the sake of money, 
frivolous, lacking in judgment, and who, he says, 
are equally ready to join or abandon a party without 
any adequate reason. Exaggerated as these animad- 
versions on the Polish character doubtless are, there is 
not lacking in them much that is true. Certain it is 
that we can find prominent instances without number 
of the first of the charges which he makes against 
them. We have already touched on the lack of 
material at hand to guide us to the truth concerning 
the ancestry of Chopin, and even the separating of 


the tares from the wheat, in that which we have, is 
a matter of no small difficulty. Therefore we do not 
propose to go into the matter here, but content our- 
selves with taking for our starting-point the birth of 
Chopin's father, Nicholas Chopin, which took place 
at Nancy, in Lorraine, on the 17th August 1770. Of 
his early youth little is known, but in his seventeenth 
year we find him putting into execution a desire 
which had gradually grown upon him to visit Poland. 
There are several reasons, either of which would 
satisfactorily account for this action on his part. The 
first is that if he were, as we have put forward, of 
Polish descent, he would only be carrying out, in 
this desire to visit his native land, a very marked 
characteristic of his countrymen. The second is. 
while more lengthy, none the less satisfactory. TCy 
the peace of Vienna in 1735 the Duchies of Lorraine 
and Bar passed into the possession of Stanislas 
Leszczynski, who had reigned as King of Poland 
from 1704-1709. He continued to reign over the 
above-named Duchies until his demise, which oc- 
curred in 1766. During the thirty years of his reign 
Stanislas had clone much for his subjects, and the 


recollections of these good things did not die with 
him; on the contrary, they were still fresh in the 
minds of many Lorrainers when Nicholas Chopin 
saw the light. Nancy had consequently become a 
kind of half-way house to the many Polish travellers 
on their way to Paris ; while the kindly remembrance 
of their late monarch engendered a desire on the part 
of many of those Poles, resident in the Duchies, to 
visit their native land. Thus it may have been that 
Nicholas came to Warsaw. 

But another and perhaps more sordid reason 
seems to us to have put at all events the much 
desired visit into actual accomplishment. A friend 
of Nicholas Chopin had left Lorraine some time 
previously with^the object of establishing in Warsaw 
a tobacco manufactory, in order that he might profit 
by the rapidly increasing habit of snuff-taking. His 
venture turning out highly successful, he remembered 
his friend Nicholas, and offered him the charge of 
the book-keeping in his business. This offer, as was 
to be expected, Nicholas eagerly accepted, and as a 
result we find him in Warsaw in 1787. 

At the time of his arrival the Poles were anxiously 



awaiting the assembly of the Diet which was to take 
place in the following year for the purpose of pre- 
venting the excessive use of the liberum veto. 
Nicholas Chopin threw himself heart and soul into 
the affairs of the country, which for the next twenty 
years were hopelessly complicated. During this time 
Poland suffered much at the hand of both Prussia 
and Russia, especially the latter. Under Kosciuszko 
the people fought valiantly for their outraged country, 
but the powers against them were too strong, and 
the struggle was horribly ended by the siege and fall 
of Praga (a suburb of Warsaw) and the massacre 
which followed it. 

After the third partition in 1795, Poland as a 
country disappeared. All this had naturally an effect 
the reverse of beneficial to trade, and among the 
sufferers in this respect was the friend of Nicholas, who 
was obliged to close his tobacco manufactory. This 
occurred shortly before the disastrous finale of which 
we have just spoken, that is in 1794, when the injured 
people were preparing for their gallant struggle, and 
were rallying their forces under the generalship of 
Kosciuszko. Nicholas Chopin being thrown out of 


his employment, joined the National Guard, in which 
he soon attained the rank of captain, and was present 
at the siege of Praga. At the end of the war he 
deliberated as to whether he should return to France 
or remain in Poland. The problem was solved for 
him, for he fell ill and was unable to move. 

When he recovered he endeavoured to procure 
pupils, a thorough knowledge of the French language 
being the only available stock-in-trade he possessed. 
This proved of value to him, although not exactly in 
the way he had looked for. The Staroscina x Laszynska 
(whom Karasowski says he had met previously at 
Nancy) now offered him the post of tutor to her 
family, which consisted of two girls and two boys. 
In this position he remained for some time, only 
leaving it to undertake a similar one in the house- 
hold of the Countess Skarbek. This lady lived at 
Zelazowa-Wola, a village situated near the gates of 
Warsaw. Without being wealthy she was possessed 
of considerable means, and maintained a fairly large 
establishment. Nicholas Chopin's duty would seem to 

1 A Staroscina is the wife of a Starosta — i.e. a nobleman upon 
whom a castle and domains have been conferred by the crown. 


have been particularly light, for instead of four pupils 
he had but one, the Countess's son Frederick ; while 
his relations with his employer and her family were, 
and always continued to be, most cordial. At all 
events he found sufficient time to fall in love, the ob- 
ject of his affections being a young protegee of the 
Count's, by name Justina Krzyzanowska. This lady, 
who came of a noble but correspondingly poor family, 
he ultimately married in the spring of the year 1806. 
By her he had four children, one son and three 
daughters. The first child, Louisa, was born in April 
1807. She turned her thoughts in the direction of 
literature, contributing to several periodicals, and 
also writing several books alone, and later in col- 
laboration with her sister Isabella. She married 
Professor Jedrzejearicz, and died in 1855. The 
second daughter, Isabella, married Anton Barcinski, 
an inspector of schools, who only died as recently 
as 1881. Thus in 1808 we find Nicholas Chopin 
with two daughters, and a consequent desire to obtain 
possession of an independent income. 

As a teacher he was certainly justified in consider- 
ing himself successful, and Count Skarbek, in his 


Memoirs, has spoken of his son's tutor in the highest 
terms. That he did not do so without good reason 
is apparent from the fact that young Frederick 
Skarbek proved a brilliant pupil, distinguishing him- 
self in poetry and science, and ultimately becoming 
a Professor in the University of Warsaw. 

As a man, Nicholas Chopin was blessed with 
one of the most precious of Nature's gifts — sound 
common-sense. A charitable man, as well as a 
man of culture, he made many influential friends 
in the world of literature and art. For his wife, 
the very high estimation in which she was held, 
and the love and affection which was given her by 
her children, speaks much. She has been described 
as 'particularly tender-hearted and rich in all true 
womanly virtues,' and was, as Chopin calls her in 
his letters, ' the best of mothers.' They were a family 
united as one. Their life was simple and intellectual, 
their interests bound up in one another, and, although 
poor, they never lacked the necessaries of life, nor 
felt in any way the privations of poverty. Such, 
then, was the family into which our Frederick had 
the good fortune to be born. 


The birth of the son who was to make the name 
of Chopin famous, took place in their little house at 
Zelazowa-Wola on 1st March 1809. But here they 
were not to remain for long, for in the following year 
the good opinion of Nicholas Chopin, held by Count 
Skarbek, was endorsed by the Directors of the Warsaw 
Lyceum, who gave practical expression to it by ap- 
pointing him Professor of the French language at that 
newly-founded institution. This necessitated a re- 
moval into Warsaw. The immediate benefit of his 
appointment was not great to the Professor, for it 
entailed the additional expenses of a town life; but 
in the year following, the offer of a similar position 
in the School of Artillery and Engineering consider- 
ably facilitated matters. 

The little Frederic duly received the name of 
Frederic Francois, after the son of Count Skarbek, 
who stood as his godfather. We are told that he 
very soon showed a great susceptibility to musical 
sounds, although hardly in the direction which 
we should have expected, for he howled lustily 
whenever he heard them. But as this seems not 
uncommon amongst babies as a class, it is hardly 


worth any serious consideration. At all events he 
soon dismissed any impression which he may have 
caused, that music was in any way distasteful to 
him, for he took to the pianoforte (to use a vulgar 
phrase) as a duck does to water. His parents being, 
as we have seen, blessed with intellect and sound 
common-sense, did not attempt to dissuade him from 
it, but placed him, young as he was, for instruction, 
in the art, under one of the best of its masters. To 
them, for this action we cannot be sufficiently thank- 
ful, for although the result would probably have 
been much the same had they waited a year or two, 
we cannot over-estimate the great value of musical 
guidance to one so young, for on the early musical 
food of the musician much depends. 

The master chosen for the boy in pianoforte playing 
was Adalbert Zywny, a Bohemian, who had settled in 
Warsaw and established a good practice as a teacher, 
and whatever he may have been as a performer on 
his own instrument, in this capacity he was without 
a rival in the Polish capital. Chopin's opinion of 
him was always of the highest, and there is no doubt 
that he was more suitable as a teacher than would 


have been one who might, perhaps, have possessed 
higher capabilities as a pianist. For he instructed 
and thoroughly grounded his young pupil in the 
rudiments of his art, which in itself did much to 
establish a sure and sound basis. As a proof of his 
progress young Frederic at nine years of age showed 
signs of becoming what Mr. Joseph Bennett, in his 
short biography of him, calls ' that usually objection- 
able thing, an " infant phenomenon." A Polish lady 
who heard him play at a soiree when not nine years 
of age spoke of him as ' a child who, in the opinion 
of connoisseurs of the art promised to replace Mozart.' 
During his ninth year he was invited to assist at a 
concert which had been got up by several influential 
personages for the benefit of the poor. With the 
concurrence of his master Frederic accepted the 
invitation and played a pianoforte concerto, the 
composition of Adalbert Gyrowetz, 1 a famous com- 
poser at the time. Karasowski's relation of this is 
worthy of note : — ' A few hours before the performance 

1 Adalbert Oyrowetz was a Bohemian. He was born at Budweis 
in 1763,— was a conspicuous figure in London in 1789, and was the 
composer of some thirty operas and a quantity of chamber music. 
He died in Vienna in 1850. 


Fritzchen, as he was called at home, was placed on a 
chair to be suitably dressed for his first appearance 
before a large assembly. The child was delighted 
with his jacket, and especially with the handsome 
collar. After the concert, his mother, who had not 
been present, asked, as she embraced him, " What did 
the public like best ? " He naively answered, " Oh, 
mamma, everybody looked only at my collar." 

After the complete and emphatic success of his 
debut, the little Frederic became the adored of the 
aristocracy of Warsaw, visiting frequently such houses 
as those of the Princes Czartoryski, Lubecki, Radziwill 
and others. Not content with his pianoforte studies, 
Chopin early essayed musical composition. These 
youthful efforts generally took the form of dances 
such as waltzes, mazurkas, and polonaises. When 
ten years of age he dedicated a march which he had 
composed to the Grand Duke Constantine, who had 
it scored for, and played by, one of the military 
bands. His father now very wisely determined that 
his son should receive instruction in the grammar ot 
his art, simultaneously with his pianoforte instruction. 
Alas ! how rarely such a course is adopted even 


to-day ; and we venture to say in passing, that if the 
adoption of it were more general amongst our young 
amateurs, the frequent aspersions now cast upon our 
national musical reputation would decrease very 
materially both in number and severity. 

Here it was again necessary to obtain an efficient 
master, and fortune so far aided circumspection on the 
part of Nicholas Chopin as to bring him in contact with 
a master in every way worthy of directing the genius 
which already showed itself in the youthful musician. 
As Joseph Eisner was a conspicuous figure, not only 
by virtue of his position as Chopin's only master in 
harmony and counterpoint, but on his own account, 
we can, without apology, turn our attention briefly 
upon him. Eisner, we are told, while the son of a 
cabinetmaker, was intended for the medical profes- 
sion, and with that object was sent to school at 
Breslau, and later for the completion of his studies 
to the University at Vienna. A native of Silesia, 
his father was resident at Grodgrau. In this city the 
lad had received much encouragement from his 
friends to cultivate his voice, and consequently, upon 
arriving in Breslau, he joined one of the best church 



choirs there. His love of music gradually obtaining 
a stronger hold of him, he quite abandoned his in- 
tention of becoming a doctor. He became in turn 
conductor of the theatres of Lemberg and Warsaw. 
As a composer he was highly productive, as will be seen 
when we state that he composed as many as twenty- 
two operas in the space of twenty years, and, moreover, 
we have good reason to believe that his work was 
little less conspicuous from a qualitative than from 
a quantitative point of view. In Warsaw he was 
highly valued and much liked, and his influence on 
the cultivation of his art in his country was by no 
means small ; indeed, he has been, perhaps, not un- 
fitly named the 'ancestor of modern Polish music.' 
Among his most successful works we may name his 
Echo Variations for the Orchestra, and his Oratorio, 
The Passion of the Saviour. Besides these, he wrote 
many symphonies and a quantity of chamber music. 
One of his greatest ambitions was reached when, 
in 1825, he was appointed to the Directorship 
of the Warsaw Conservatoire of Music. Also pro- 
minent amongst his pupils must be named a famous 
Polish musician — Charles Kurpinski. In short, 


Joseph Eisner was a thoroughly capable musician, 
who, if only a man of talent, was perhaps for that 
very reason exactly what was needed for the careful 
guidance of a young genius. But to return to our 
subject. We must not omit to chronicle a very 
marked expression of recognition of young Chopin's 
unusual capabilities, made by the celebrated vocalist 
Madame Catalani, upon whom the young artist had 
evidently made a great impression. It took the very 
handsome form of a gold watch, on which was in- 
scribed, ' Donne par Madame Catalani a Frederic 
Chopin, age de dix ans.' 

Some five years after the birth of Frederic, a 
third daughter was born to Nicholas Chopin and 
his wife. This daughter, Emilia, who unfortunately 
died at the early age of fourteen, gave promise of 
very great things in the province of literature, and 
besides being exceptionally gifted, she is described 
as having had a highly attractive personality and 
great ambition. It certainly says much for her 
that she was, in the short time allotted to her, 
sufficiently clever and industrious to have translated 
many of the works of the German author, Salzmann. 


Moreover, her poetical efforts augured well for her 
future, and there can be no doubt that, had she lived, 
she would have occupied no unworthy place in the 
world of literature. 

We have now some idea of the career before our 
young artist, and of the conditions under which it 
began ; and having thus followed him to the end of 
the first decade of his life, we shall in the next 
chapter touch upon some of the characteristics which 
were prominent features of his personality. 


As we stated in the prefatory note to this work 
much has been written concerning Chopin which is 
not only misleading but absolutely incorrect. Much, 
also, has been written that is rhapsodical and exagger- 
ated, and, as a natural result thereof, we find that 
there exists in the minds of many a total misappre- 
hension of the physical aspect and character of Chopin 
both in his boyhood and during his manhood. In his 
youth he has been described to us as ' a little creature 
who suffered much yet ever tried to smile,' and 
c whose friends were so glad that he did not become 
moody or morose, that they were satisfied to cherish 
his good qualities, believing that he opened his heart 
to them without reserve and gave to them all his 
secret thoughts ' ; this, says, Karasowski, is Liszt's de- 
scription of the boy. But here the Polish biographer 
has not adhered to the facts of the case, as this picture 


of Chopin was taken by Liszt from George Sand's de- 
scription of Prince Karol 1 in her novel Lucrezia 
Floriani. We agree that Liszt was no biographer. 
Moreover, even if he had possessed the necessary quali- 
ties for writing an uncoloured account of Chopin's 
life, the fact remains that he did not make the com- 
poser's acquaintance until comparatively late in his life. 
Moreover, we know that much of the information pro- 
vided by Liszt was supplied him by the Pole, Albert 
Grzymala, who did not meet Chopin until the latter 
came to Paris to live. Therefore Liszt's book is, at all 
events as regards the early part of the composer's 
career, comparatively useless to us. George Sand — 
even if we take it for granted that Prince Karol is an 
intended portrayal of Chopin — cannot be taken to 
task for in ever so slight a degree diverging from 
facts, for we have always to remember the wide gulf 
which separates fact from fiction, at all events in this 
respect. Nor is Karasowski, in his anxiety to depict 
Chopin as robust, justified in quoting this utterance of 
the novelist as coming originally from Liszt. Chopin 
was, in his youth, undoubtedly delicate, but he was 

1 Supposed to be Chopin. 


healthy and bright, although in no way 'vigorous.' 
This was only natural, as we can understand when we 
know that his sister Amelia and his father were both 
the victims of pulmonary disease. But, on the other 
hand, Karasowski is quite right in asserting that he 
was far from being the sickly, sentimental child which 
he has been stated to have been. His pleasures were 
intellectual rather than physical, and, being delicate, 
he was wise in taking great care of his health, especi- 
ally when the disease to which he was predisposed is 
one which misses no opportunity to seize its unhappy 
victim. His parents, knowing this, were doubly care- 
ful with him, and doubtless did err (if it can be said 
under the circumstances to be erring) on the side of 
' coddling ' him ; but, nevertheless, it had this good 
result : that up to the time of his manhood Chopin 
was only once ill. 

Up to the age of fifteen he was taught at home 
in company with his father's pupils, and made such 
good progress that, when he entered the Warsaw 
Lyceum, he was able to take a high place in the 
school. Here, again, Liszt goes astray, for he states 
confidently that Frederic's education was due to the 


kindness and intelligent protection of Prince Anton 
Radziwill. Even had this statement not received 
a flat denial by Chopin's relatives, it would surely 
seem highly improbable to any one acquainted with 
Nicholas Chopin's position as a professor in Warsaw, 
especially when there is no mention of anything of 
the kind in any of his letters. 

At school Frederic was a prime favourite, and 
was always in the midst of any fun or mischief 
which was going on, while at home, although his 
energies were directed in a more desirable direction, 
they were none the less marked. His talent for 
mimicry was always extraordinary, and has been 
commented upon not only by George Sand and 
Liszt, but by Balzac. On the birthdays of their 
parents the Chopin family devoted themselves to 
giving amateur theatrical performances, and in these 
Frederic was invariably the prime mover, and on one 
occasion he not only acted in, but wrote in collabora- 
tion with his sister, a one-act comedy in verse, entitled 
The Mistake. He would seem to have exhibited a 
natural aptitude for the stage ; indeed, one Polish actor 
who frequently assisted the young amateur on these 


occasions went so far as to say that Chopin was born 
to be a great actor. 

Amongst the visitors and friends of Nicholas 
Chopin at this time must be mentioned Dr. Samuel 
Linde, the rector of the Lyceum, and a distinguished 
philologist, Casimir Brodzinski a famous Polish poet 
and litterateur, with marked tendencies towards the 
romantic in art; his former pupil, Count Frederic 
Skarbek, now a University professor, and many 
others, all men of learning, if not of note. Thus 
it will be seen that the home influence of our 
young artist was highly refining, and amidst such 
surrounding his naturally artistic tendencies greatly 
developed, and at the Lyceum he made rapid progress. 
His holidays were mostly spent in the country, and 
generally at the village of Szafarnia, which belonged 
to the Dziewanowski family, with whom he formed a 
firm friendship. 

Karasowski relates how, while spending one of his 
holidays at this place, Chopin conceived the idea 
of ' bringing out a small manuscript newspaper,' 
which he entitled the Szafarnia Courier after the 
pattern of the Warsaw Courier, to take the place 


of his ordinary home-letters. In this he would write 
all that was happening in the neighbourhood, and 
frequently inserted an account of his artistic doings 
after the following manner : — ' On July 15th M. Pichon 
[a name he assumed] appeared at the musical assem- 
bly at Szafarnia, at which were present several persons, 
big, and little : he played Kalkbrenner's Concerto, but 
this did not produce such a furore, especially among 
the youthful hearers, as did the song which he ren- 
dered.' The same biographer also puts it forward as 
specially illustrative of a custom prevailing in Warsaw, 
that this miniature journal of Chopin's had to be ex- 
amined by the Government censor, whose duty it was 
to write across every number ' lawful for transmission.' 
When we are told that at the time this office was 
held by Mile. Louise Dziewanowski, we can readily 
understand that in Chopin's case this ' red-tapeism ' 
was in no way irksome either to the lady or to him. 

Another anecdote of the boy at this time, and 
one which sufficiently illustrates the spirit of mischief 
within him, has been told. At the neighbouring 
village of Oberow were a number of Jews, whom 
young Frederic frequently used to delight with his 


playing. One of them, a M. Komecki, had sold 
a quantity of grain to a dealer. Frederic, having 
heard of this, sent the former gentleman a letter pur- 
porting to come from the grain-dealer, to the effect 
that, after having duly considered the matter, he had 
decided not to complete the purchase. His imitation 
of the language in use amongst these Polish Jews was 
so good that the unfortunate Komecki was completely 
taken in. His rage can easier be imagined than de- 
scribed, and the catastrophe which would inevitably 
have occurred was only prevented by the timely 
confession of the young miscreant. But it is only 
fair to our young artist to follow this anecdote 
with one which can in no way be prejudicial to him. 
The story is told by Casimir Wodzynski, and is harm- 
less enough, still it serves to show at what an early 
age the young musician indulged in improvisation. 

I will quote from Karasowski : — ' If his father's 
pupils made too great a noise in the house Frederic 
had but to seat himself at the piano to obtain 
perfect quiet. One day, during the professor's 
absence, there was an uproarious scene, and Barcinski, 
the assistant master, was at his wits' end as to 


what to do, when Frederic fortunately entered the 
room. Without delay he requested the offenders to 
sit down, and calling in those who were making a 
noise outside, he promised to improvise a story on the 
piano if they would be quiet. This at once had the 
desired effect, and having extinguished the lights he 
began. He described how robbers set out to plunder 
a house, and arrived, then proceeded to enter by 
means of ladders to the windows. Suddenly startled 
by a noise from within they fled into the woods, where 
they are supposed to have fallen asleep. To illustrate 
this he played more and more softly a slow, rocking 
movement, until (we are told) his hearers had actually 
themselves fallen asleep. Seeing this, Frederic noise- 
lessly crept out of the room to his parents and sisters, 
whom he requested to follow him with a light. When 
the astonished family had duly comprehended the 
state of affairs, he, with a crashing chord, awoke the 
sleepers, who naturally were considerably startled, 
and we trust somewhat repentant.' Touching upon 
his marvellous powers of improvisation, Karasowski 
speaks of Chopin's ' profound knowledge of counter- 
point, but we doubt whether this is the correct expres- 


sion for his aptitude in that branch of the art. Such 
counterpoint as is illustrated in his work either early 
or late does not impress us as being the result of pro- 
found knowledge.' It is more the counterpoint of the 
genius than of the student. Certain it is that he fre- 
quently transgresses many of its primary laws, but 
even if he did this to suit his artistic purpose (as no 
doubt in many instances he did), we must take into 
consideration the fact that counterpoint was by no 
means fluent even in the work of Eisner ; on the con- 
trary, his master was frequently taken to task by 
critics and musicians for his laxity in this direction. 
Chopin, in his youth, would seem to have in some 
degree exhibited that waywardness and irregularity 
Avhich is duly expected from ' genius.' He had a small 
piano in his bedroom, and would frequently wake in 
the middle of the night with some phrase in his head, 
which he would straightway proceed to play on the 
instrument, or some discord which, to enable him the 
more clearly to understand it, he would resolve. Kara- 
sowski follows this statement with another, to the effect 
that he was much loved by the servants in the house, 
which, we think, would have come better before it than 


after. They, he says, shook their heads saying, ' The 
poor young gentleman's mind is affected.' 

On May 27th and June 10th in the year 1825, Chopin 
played at two concerts given in the large hall of the 
Conservatoire in Warsaw. On these occasions he gave 
Moscheles' Concerto in G minor, and also some impro- 
visations. The only critique of the concerts which was 
written spoke of him as having a wealth of musical 
ideas and being a master of his instrument, which is 
indeed high praise for one so young. 

In this same year he published his Opus 1 : 
this was a Hondo in C minor. But on reference to 
the posthumous publications contained in our cata- 
logue, it will be seen that there is a polonaise in 
G sharp minor, bearing the date of composition 
1822. This is the elate given in Messrs. Breitkopf's 
edition, and, moreover, on the Warsaw edition is 
the following note : — ' So far as one can judge from 
the manuscript and its dedication, this composition 
was written by Frederic Chopin at the age of 
fourteen, and never published until now.' But this 
is by no means convincing, and a careful examina- 
tion of the work itself certainly inclines us to believe 


that it must have been composed considerably 

Chopin had now discontinued his pianoforte study 
under Zwyny, and devoted his time mainly to com- 
position. Nevertheless, his playing made rapid 
strides. The 'school' of that time was quite in- 
sufficient for his requirements, and necessity, being 
the mother of invention, caused him gradually to 
create those innovations in pianoforte technique 
which were even later looked upon as heretical. 
He was, as can be imagined, a great favourite in 
all the ' salons ' of Warsaw, and this fact again Liszt 
seizes upon with avidity as forming an admirable 
opportunity for that ' gush ' to which he was so 
addicted. ' Chopin,' he says, ' could easily read the 
hearts which were attracted to him by friendship 
and the grace of his youth, and thus was enabled 
early to learn of what a strange mixture of leaven 
and cream of roses, of gunpowder and tears of angels, 
the poetic ideal of his nation is formed. When his 
wandering fingers ran over the keys, suddenly touch- 
ing some moving chords, he could see how the 
furtive tears coursed down the cheeks of the loving 


girl, or the young neglected wife; how they mois- 
tened the eyes of the young men, enamoured of 
and eager for glory. Can we not fancy some young 
beauty asking him to play a simple prelude, then, 
softened by the tones, leaning her rounded arms 
upon the instrument, to support her dreaming head, 
while she suffered the young artist to divine in the 
dewy glitter of her lustrous eyes the song sung by 
her youthful heart ? ' This speaks for itself, and 
is only one of many similar passages to be found 
in the great pianist's ' rhapsody.' 

Frederic now worked very hard, and when in 1826 
his sister Emilia was ordered by the doctors to 
Reinerz, a watering-place in Silesia, it was decided 
that he should accompany her, and endeavour to 
regain his health, which was rapidly becoming affected 
by his constant application to study. His stay at 
this watering-place, although a short one, had in a 
great measure the desired effect, and his letters to 
his friend William Kolberg are particularly bright. 

He benefited the more from his entire cessation of 
all mental work, and his only musical activity took 
the benevolent direction of giving two concerts in 


aid of two orphans, who having, like himself, come 
to the town to benefit their health, had, by the death 
of their mother, no means of support, and not even 
sufficient money to defray the funeral expenses. 
The remainder of his holidays Frederic passed chiefly 
at Strzyzewo, the property of his godmother, Madame 
Wiesiolawska. While there he took advantage of 
the close proximity of Prince Anton Radziwill's 
country seat to accept an invitation extended to him 
by that nobleman, to visit him. Prince Radziwill, 
although related to the Prussian royal family, had 
property and numerous friends in Poland, and spent 
no small part of his time in the country. A musician 
himself, he had felt a special interest in the young 
prodigy of whom everyone was talking. That he 
was in no way disappointed in his expectation he 
had formed of Frederic we may conclude by his 
actions later, for when, some three years after- 
wards, he represented Prussia at the coronation of 
the Polish king, Nicholas I., he visited Chopin, and 
invited him to Posen, of which duchy he was the 
governor. The prince was no mere dilettante, as is 
proved by the serious work to which he applied 



himself; he was not only a good singer and 'cellist, 
but his compositions were noted for their refinement 
and thorough musicianship ; while as regards the 
height of his ambitions, we have only to mention 
the fact that he chose the first portion of Goethe's 
Faust as a subject for musical setting. 1 We have 
already dealt with the statement regarding the 
prince's contribution towards the education of the 
young artist as improbable, but nevertheless when 
we see and take into consideration his high position, 
and his love for, and thorough knowledge of, the art 
of music, we can readily understand that he was in 
many ways — although probably indirectly — of great 
assistance to Chopin. Later on we shall have 
occasion to refer to the happy intervention of the 
prince at a juncture when, without it, the career of 
the young musician would seem likely to have been 
cut short. 

It must not be forgotten that, up to this time, 
there was no definite intention on the part of 
Chopin's parents that their son should take up music 

1 Prince Radziwill's Faust was privately pcrfoimed in London 
in 1S80. 


as a profession. They had, although expressing no 
wish that he should not do so, remained entirely 
passive in the matter. But the young musician's 
success both in piauoforte playing and composition 
was so great, that when the persuasions of his master 
were brought to bear upon the matter, little objection 
was raised by them. 

He had now left the Lyceum, and, as a result of 
his greater application to music, did not come through 
the ordeal of his final examination so successfully 
as might have been expected from his previous per- 
formances. Henceforth, then, Chopin was at liberty 
to devote himself entirely to his art ; and as we 
are now about to enter upon that period of his 
life which was devoted to artistic and professional 
travels, avc shall close this chapter with a glance at 
his compositions up to this time. The Rondo Op. 1 
is dedicated to Madame Linde, wife of the rector, 
Dr. Linde, whom we mentioned as the friend of 
Nicholas Chopin. It is a highly creditable com- 
position when we consider the boy's age, and it could 
not reasonably be expected to show any emphatio 
signs of originality. Nevertheless, there is no small 


amount of inventive power demonstrated, and it is a 
work to which the composer could look back in after 
years without any sense of shame as his Op. 1. The 
following Op. 2, however, shows a very great advance 
upon it, and evinces distinct signs of originality, 
although they are more in the ' design ' of the 
pianoforte figures than in musical thought. The 
variations of Mozart's captivating melody are in- 
ventive, and, above all, Chopin clearly demonstrates 
his knowledge of the resources of his instrument. 
Robert Schumann's criticism of this Op. 2 may be 
summed up by quoting the exclamation to which 
he gave vent on reading the work : — ' Hats off, gentle- 
men : a genius ! ' Through all the ' virtuosity ' in 
this composition, Schumann recognised those dor- 
mant qualities which afterwards awoke to such good 

The Op. 3., Introduction and Polonaise for piano- 
forte and violoncello, was written while staying at 
the house of Prince Radziwill, who was, as we know, 
a performer upon the 'cello. In a letter written 
about October 1829, Chopin speaks of it as an Alia 
Polacca, at the same time stating that it was in- 


tended for nothing more than a showy ' salon piece, 
such as will please ladies.' This, of course, disarms 
all serious criticism, and we shall content ourselves 
with noting a few of the most prominent features 
of this somewhat commonplace effort. The Intro- 
duction opens with a short prelude for the pianoforte. 
Tli is is followed by the initial theme for the violon- 
cello, which forms the movement of the Introduction. 
At the end of the movement the composer does 
not come to a close on the tonic, but branches off 
on the dominant through a brilliant cadenza to 
the Polacca theme, this commonplace melody being 
given to the 'cello. The only portion of the work 
which seems to us to be in any degree worthy of 
its composer is the counter theme for the violoncello 
in the key of F major. This, with its brilliant 
pianoforte accompaniment, is the only redeeming 
feature of the piece. 

We may now fitly close with the three Polonaises 
written in this early period, and published post- 
humously by Julius Fontana. The first in D minor, 
written in 1827, is the most spontaneous of all 
the early compositions. Here we find, in embryo, 


many of those Chopinesque turns by which we after- 
wards learn to know the id aster. The accompanying 
two, in B flat major and ¥ minor respectively, while 
exhibiting no less emotional power, do not strike us 
as so spontaneous as that in D minor, which is a 
truly wonderful performance, when we consider the 
composer's short exj>erience. From this time for- 
ward his work will be seen to gain more repose, and 
that sense of superfluity which so characterises these 
early efforts is gradually thrown off. Moreover, as 
we proceed, the poetic and emotional elements take 
entire precedence over that of virtuosity (except, 
perhaps, in the case of one or two of the large works 
for piano and orchestra), and all that we term 
Chopinesque is gradually unfolded to us, while with 
it is no less distinctly revealed the personality of the 
man. Having thus briefly glanced at the efforts of 
what we might almost term his childhood, let us 
now take up the thread of our narrative, and prepare 
to follow our young artist on his travels. 


The first journey of our young artist was an important 
break in the uneventful quietude of his former life. 
He was, however, fortunate in having the companion- 
ship of a cultured man and friend of his father in 
Dr. Jarocki. The professor was visiting Berlin at 
the invitation of the Berlin University, Frederick 
William in. of Prussia having desired that a Congress 
should be held, and all the most eminent philo- 
sophers invited to attend. At the proposal that his 
young friend should accompany him, the professor 
expressed himself delighted, and on the 9th Sep- 
tember 1828 they left Warsaw. After five days' 
posting they arrived at their destination, and took 
up their quarters at the hotel ' Kronprinz.' And now 
I shall let our young friend speak for himself : — 

1 My dearly beloved Parents and Sistehs, — We arrived 
safely in this great city about three o'clock on Sunday after- 
noon, and went direct from the port to the hotel ' Kronprinz,' 


where we are still. It is a good and comfortable house. The 
day of our arrival Professor Jarucki took me to Herr Lich ten- 
stein's, where I met Alex, von Humboldt. He is not above 
the middle height, and his features cannot be called hand- 
some ; but the prominent brow, and the deep, penetrating 
glance reveal the searching intellect of the scholar, who is as 
great a philanthropist as he is a traveller. He speaks French 
like his mother tongue ; even you would say so, dear father 
There is a rumour that the great Paganini is 

coming here. I only hope it is true. Prince Eadziwill is 
expected on the 20th of this month. It will be a great 
pleasure to me if he comes. I have as yet seen nothing but 
the Zoological Cabinet, but I know the city pretty well, for I 
wandered among; the beautiful streets and bridges for two 
whole days. . . . The chief impression Berlin makes upon 
me is that of a straggling city, which could, I think, contain 
double its present large population. To-day will be my first 
experience of the music of Berlin. Do not think me one- 
sided, dearest father, if I say that I would much rather have 
spent the morning at Schlesinger's than in labouring through 
the thirteen rooms of the Zoological Museum ; but I came 
here for the sake of my musical education, and Schlesinger's 
library, containing, as it does, the most important musical 
works of every age and country, is, of course, of more interest 
to me than any other collection. I console myself with the 
thought that I shall not miss Schlesinger's, and that a young 
man ought to see all he can, as there is something to be 
learnt everywhere. 

1 . . . The Prussian diligences are most uncomfortable, so 


the journey was less agreeable than I had looked for ; how- 
ever, I reached the capital of the Hohenzollerns in good 
health and spirits. Our travelling companions were a German 
lawyer living at Posen, who tried to distinguish himself by 
making coarse jokes ; and a very fat farmer with a smattering 
of politeness acquired by travelling. At the last stage before 
Frankfort-on-the-Oder, a German Sappho entered the diligence 
and poured forth a torrent of ridiculous egotistical complaints. 
Quite unwittingly the good lady amused me immensely, for 
it was as good as a comedy when she began to argue with the 
lawyer, who, instead of laughing at her, seriously controverted 
everything she said . . . Marylski cannot have an atom of 
taste if he thinks the Berlin ladies dress well ; their clothes 
are handsome, no doubt, but, alas ! for the beautiful stuffs cut 
up for such puppets ! — Your ever fondly loving 

' Frederic' 

There is, we think, in this letter not only a con- 
siderable fund of humour, but an observation of men 
and things remarkable in a young man of his age. 
Here it is, perhaps, that there is a slight similarity 
between Chopin and Mendelssohn, for although the 
letters of the latter are much more direct and 
decided, especially when speaking of music, there 
is to be found in them the same keen observance 
of the manners of men. In another letter, written 
shortly after the above, Chopin relates that he heard 


at the opera 11 Matrimonio Segreto and Onslow's 
Der Hausirer. These performances, he says, he 
greatly enjoyed, but he appears to have been quite 
carried away by a performance of Handel's Ode to 
St Cecilia s Day, which he describes as his ' ideal of 
sublime music' In the same letter he says, speaking 
of the Congress : — ' Spontini, Zelter, and Felix Men- 
delssohn Bartholdy Avere also there ; but I did not 
speak to any of them, as I did not think it proper to 
introduce myself. It is said that Prince Radziwill 
will come to-day; I shall find out after breakfast 
if this is really true.' Unfortunately for Chopin, 
Prince Radziwill did not arrive that day, nor, so far 
as we can ascertain, did he arrive at all. Had he done 
so, many things might have been greatly facilitated 
for Chopin, for the prince was acquainted, and in 
some cases very intimate, with the shining lights in 
the musical world of Berlin; prominent amongst 
whom were Spontini and Ludwig Berger, the teacher 
of Mendelssohn. 

It is strange how little touching on his art is 
to be found in Chopin's letters ; moreover, in them 
we look in vain for those qualities portrayed 


in his music, and it is no exaggeration to say 
that we get a much truer picture of the man from 
his compositions than from any of his correspondence. 
This strikes us as the more extraordinary when we 
consider that Chopin was a contemporary of those 
musicians who were equally at their ease either 
with the pen of the author or the composer. For 
example, we have only to name Schumann and 
Wagner; and even Mendelssohn's letters are very 
much more reflective of their author than those of 
Chopin. Again, they are not what we should have 
expected from one who had received the careful 
and thorough literary training, not to speak of that 
higher education which is to be got from mixing 
with the cultured and intelligent people whom we 
know Frederic did mix with in the Polish capital. 
Of course, the fact must not be lost sight of that 
these letters are only written in a confidential vein 
to his parents and intimate friends, nor should we 
forget that they were written while he was still 
very young. But we doubt very much, had his 
Parisian correspondence not been destroyed, whether 
we should have found it to contain any of those 


qualities which would make it valuable apart from 
bearing his signature, save that one or two points 
about which we are now in the dark would perhaps 
have been satisfactorily disposed of. He undoubtedly 
found in his music a full and adequate means for 
the expression of all that he felt. In a word, his 
correspondence has but small claim to be called 
literary. What power of observation he possessed 
was, as we have seen, in the direction of dress and 
manners, or any special eccentricity. And he was 
not without a very strong vein of satire. Both of 
these qualities he frequently exerted in a very 
marked degree, and with age his satirical propen- 
sities increased. 

A characteristic, perhaps it might even be called a 
peculiarity, upon which we have not touched, was his 
love of caricature. For the exercise of this gift his 
attendance at the Congress afforded him ample oppor- 
tunity, which he in no way failed to take advantage 
of, for, as he said, he found so many unique specimens 
that he was obliged not only to sketch them but to 
classify them. 

After a stay of some fourteen days in Berlin, 


Chopin and the professor turned their steps home- 
wards on 28th September 1828, breaking their 
journey at Posen, by the invitation of the Archbishop 
Wolicki. And here we have an anecdote to relate. 
Arrived at a small village named Zullichau, midway 
between Frankfort-on-Oder and Posen, they found 
they would have an hour to wait for horses, and 
in order the quicker to while away the time, the 
professor proposed a walk through the village. On 
this proposal they acted, but on their return they 
found no further signs of activity than when they 
had left. The professor, being also a philosopher, 
bethought himself of his inner man, and having 
ordered something in the way of refreshment pro- 
ceeded to enjoy it. Not so Chopin. At all events 
his refreshment took an entirely different form, for 
in an adjoining room he had found a piano. The 
reader, knowing this, will hardly need to be told 
that, no sooner did he see it, than he sat down and 
commenced to play. He had now reason to be 
considerably more astonished than he had been on 
discovering its presence, for, mirabile dictw, it was 
in tune. Gradually attracted by the music, the 


postmaster, his buxom wife, and all the passengers 
dropped in. But Frederic was by this time quite 
unmindful of all that was taking place around him, 
and was deep in his improvisation. Everyone was 
likewise absorbed, and listening in rapt attention to 
wonderful tones produced by the young pianist, 
when suddenly a stentorian voice gave forth, ' The 
horses are ready, gentlemen/ So enraged was the 
postmaster at this untimely interruption, that he 
indulged in an epithet which, in his own language, 
appears to be so strong that we refrain from attempt- 
ing its translation. Chopin had now got up from 
the piano, and was being pressed on all sides to 
continue his playing, the postmaster going so far 
as to offer extra horses to make up for the time 
they might lose by the delay. At length, over- 
come by their entreaties, he sat down and resumed 
his fantasia. When he had finished, the host sent 
in wines, and his daughters, we are told, served Chopin 
first. The host having proposed the toast of ' the 
favourite of Polyhymnia/ up spake an old musician, 
'Sir/ he said, 'if Mozart had heard you he would 
have grasped your hand and cried " Bravo ! " 


An insignificant old man like myself dare not do 
so/ Chopin then played a Mazurka as a farewell, 
and no sooner had he finished than the postmaster, 
taking him up in his arms, carried him bodily to 
the coach. But the most amusing part of the 
whole scene is yet to come, for the postillion, still 
suffering under the anathematisation of his master, 
and jealous because the pretty servant girl, to whom 
he was doubtless attached, could not take her eyes 
off the young musician, whispered in her ear, ' Things 
do go unfairly in this world. The young gentle- 
man is carried into the coach by the master himself; 
the like of us must climb laboriously on the box 
unassisted, though we are "musical! 

It will be noticed that in most of the anecdotes 
relating to Chopin's playing, that he is invariably 
spoken of as having ' improvised,' and there is a 
story told of how, when playing the organ at service 
in the Wizytek Church, he became so absorbed in 
his extemporisation as to be entirely oblivious to 
his surroundings, and, heeding neither priest nor 
congregation, did not cease until a considerable 
portion of the service had been gone through. But 


however doubtful we may be of the veracity of this 
pretty story (and there are many things which point 
to exaggeration in it) we nevertheless have good 
reason to believe that Chopin's indulgence in the 
art of simultaneous creation and exposition was great. 
And he seems to have carried it even further, for 
many of his compositions could fitly be called only 
' improvisations with the pen.' Moreover, we venture 
to believe that the excessive indulgence in this 
charming, though dangerous, relaxation has much to 
answer for as regards a great deal that is unsatis- 
factory in his works, for we know that many of 
them were composed at the piano. Now, let us see 
what Schumann says about this : — J Above all things, 
persist in composing mentally, without the aid of 
the instrument [the italics are ours]. Turn over 
your melodic ideas in your head until }^ou can say 
to yourself " It is well done." ' Again he says, ' If 
you can pick out melodies at the piano you will 
be pleased; but if they come to you spontane- 
ously away from the piano, you will have still 
more reason to be delighted, for then the inner 
tone-sense is roused to activity. The fingers must 


do what the head wishes, and not vice versa.' 
Now Schumann, on this subject, carries especial 
weight, for up to the year 1839 he composed ex- 
clusively at the instrument, while after that time he 
discarded it entirely. Moreover, if we take the 
masterpieces of the greatest musicians, we shall find 
that the greatest ideas contained in them were in- 
variably conceived while in the open air, and not only 
conceived, but frequently elaborated and finished 
without the smallest aid from the instrument. 

Now, with regard to Chopin, George Sand tells 
us that his creativeness ' descended upon his piano 
suddenly, completely, sublimely, or it sang itself in 
his head during his walks, and he made haste to 
hear it by rushing to the instrument.' Therefore 
we may safely assume that Chopin composed in both 
ways ; but judging from the works themselves there 
is a greater number bearing the impress of impro- 
visation than that of musical thought. We cannot 
conscientiously call Chopin a great musical thinker. 
We do not for one moment intend to convey that 
his ideas were derived from the instrument, but 
what we do mean is, that those effects which were 



essentially of the piano should not have been 
used to such excess as to in any way mar the 
pure musical thought. And this is frequently 
what does happen. That very harmonic luxuriance 
at times so jades our senses that we involuntarily gasp 
for a purer air. But if we look closely into the 
melodic material, we often find that it is in no way 
unsuitable to c crisper ' harmonic treatment, and that 
the composition, as a whole, would often be the 
gainer thereby. In fact, what Chopin too often 
denies us is contrast in the colouring of his 
themes. He frequently varies the detail, but never- 
theless allows the tone-colour to remain unaltered. 
Those extended harmonies are doubtless in them- 
selves most beautiful, but how much more beautiful 
is their effect when contrasted with closely-knit 
chords ? Of course we must not lose sight of the fact, 
that he has in the pianoforte no such scope for effect 
and change of colour as is afforded the musician who 
uses the orchestra as a means for his expression ; nor 
when we consider this do we under-estimate the 
genius of the man in obtaining from a percussion 
instrument the many wonderful effects which he 


undoubtedly does. Moreover, it may be argued that 
the emotions he wished to express demanded the 
treatment to which he subjected his material, and 
that the harmonic conception was simultaneous with 
the melodic. But if in some cases that be so, the 
works must in parts be false, inasmuch as their 
aesthetic effect is at times incongruous. That he was 
true to his own emotional schedule we know, nor 
would we have him otherwise, but we do say that 
there are times when he is melodically joyful, or at 
least does his best to be so. And then it is that, by 
the indiscriminate use, or rather abuse, of such par- 
ticularities as we have instanced, they cease for the 
time to be artistic, and degenerate into nothing more 
nor less than mannerisms. It can never be said 
of Chopin that his imagination cowered before his 
culture, as it frequently did and does with some 
musicians. Such a thing would have been at total 
variance with his theories. All that we wish to show 
is, that personality in composition, when fostered by 
artificial means, such as is the pianoforte, will, even in 
the case of composition for that instrument, degen- 
erate into mannerism if not carefully guarded. The 


temptation, especially to a pianist like Chopin, must 
have been great, for did not Schumann — who was in 
no wise such a master of the instrument as Chopin — 
say of the Davidstcinze, which he had composed at 
the piano, ' If ever I was happy at the piano it was 
when I composed those pieces.' Chopin was of course 
but human, and such scenes as that which took place 
at Zlillichau doubtless did much to increase his love 
for improvisation ; indeed, we are told that in after life 
he valued the appreciation of those plain folks far more 
than the adulation which was showered upon him by 
the artistic aristocracy of the French capital. This 
we can easily believe, inasmuch as a true artist loves 
sincerity either in his art or in the appreciation of it. 
But we have strayed somewhat from our course, 
and haste to chronicle the composer's return to 
Warsaw, where he arrived safely on the 6th October. 
His time at home, however, was to be limited 
to a few months, for in the following year he 
undertook a journey which was considerably more 
extensive and eventful than the short visit he had 
just paid to Berlin. From this time forth, the young- 
man, parted from his family, naturally gathers around 


him kindred spirits, whom we designate by the name 
of friends. Some of these friendships were formed 
while at the Lyceum, others were the result of his 
travels. But as the names of several of his Polish 
friends will continually crop up in connection with 
his letters and otherwise, we shall here briefly refer to 
them. First and foremost was Titus Woyciechowski, 
who had been his school companion, and who lived 
on his family estate in Poland, and the long friend- 
ship with whom was only severed by death. To him 
are most of Chopin's letters, outside of his family, 
addressed. Next to him in point of intimacy was 
John Matuszynski, a young medical student of 
Warsaw, to whom also several of his letters are written. 
Under the head of companions with whom there did 
not exist the same amount of intimacy were Celinski, 
Hube, and Maciejowski, who, as we shall see in the 
next chapter, accompanied Chopin on his travels. 
Also amongst his musical acquaintances at this time 
we have the names of Julius Fontana, who was a daily 
visitor at Chopin's house; Joseph Nowakowski, Thomas 
Nidecki, and Felix Dobrzynski, the last-named hav- 
ing been a fellow-student with Chopin under Eisner. 


There remains now little of interest in connection 
with our young artist, until we can follow him on his 
next journey, which we propose to do in the next 
chapter. We will, therefore, take for consideration 
here some of the works which followed those noticed 
in the last chapter. 

The Op. 4, which is the next in order, was a Sonata 
for the pianoforte in C minor. Although it was pub- 
lished posthumously, we shall consider it as belonging 
to the group of ' Sonatas,' inasmuch as it remained in 
ms. through the fault of the publisher and not of 
Chopin, who sent it for publication in 1828, and it 
therefore is, to all intents and purposes, to be regarded 
in the same light as its companions. The Op. 5 is 
entitled Rondeau a la Mazur, and is in F major. It 
is dedicated to the Countess de Moriolles, and although 
it exhibits more evidence of the development of his 
style, it cannot be considered as an important work. 
We therefore pass on to the Mazurkas. 

Opera 6 and 7 we find to contain respectively 
four and five examples of this form of composition, 
besides which there were published during the com- 
poser's lifetime thirty-two others. It will be most 


convenient, then, to glance at the whole group. 
First, as to the Mazurka itself. The Mazurka 
or Mazurek, as it is also called, is one of the chief 
dances of Poland, and one which Chopin specially 
loved. It had its origin in Mazovia, and has in its 
turn formed the basis of many of the late Polish 
dances. While the time is the same (§ or j) the 
movement of the dance is somewhat slower than that 
of the waltz; while the rhythm is totally different, 
being as follows ; — 

s-£5J j i n 


but in this respect Chopin invariably departs from 
the original, and subjects his rhythm to much variety 
of development. For instance, he frequently employs 
such variations of it as the following : — 

o I I I I 3 1 

4 3 

or this : — 

lil J i \ 

0-0— #— 

oil lil II 



and thereby relieves any monotony which might arise 
from constant adherence to the original, at the same 
time preserving the whole spirit of the form. The 


Mazurka was originally essentially a dance of the 
Polish peasantry, but was later adopted to a very 
great extent by the aristocracy of the country. It 
resembles not a little the French quadrille, and forms 
an exception to most dances, for in it the male sex is 
enabled to appear to great advantage, for, says a Polish 
writer (Brodzinski) x : 'A young man, and more 
especially a young Pole, remarkable for a certain 
amiable boldness, soon becomes the soul and hero of 
this dance.' We can readily conceive this to be the 
case, especially as the men invariably wear military 
uniform. ' The female dancer ' (to quote from the 
same authority), ' lightly dressed, scarcely skimming 
the earth with her dainty foot, holding on by the 
hand of her partner, in the twinkling of an eye carried 
away by several others, and then like lightning per- 
cipitating herself again into the arms of the first, offers 
the image of the most happy and delightful creature/ 
The music is of course purely national, and we 
English are therefore under a decided disadvantage as 
regards the full comprehension of such compositions 
as these Mazurkas. The same applies to the Polon- 

1 Niecks's Life of Chopin. 


aises. The qualities of Chopin's muse in these works 
are such as appeal most directly to his fellow-country- 
men. For instance, it is difficult for us to sympathise 
with the Poles in their partiality to dancing to tunes 
in minor keys, but here it is perhaps that they illus- 
trate very forcibly their proverb which says, ' A fig for 
misery.' Nevertheless, there is in these products of 
Chopin's genius much that is of interest to the 
musician. In some cases he so revels in his luxuri- 
ance of national melody as to throw all else to the 
winds, and to write progressions which would drive 
the purist in musical grammar on the border of 
distraction. Thus it is, then, that ' these Mazurkas 
lose half their meaning if played without a certain 
freedom and license — impossible to imitate, but 
irresistible if the player at all feels the music' This 
was the opinion of Mr. Chorley, critic of the 
Athenceum, who heard Chopin play them in London. 
There is, of course, to be found in all the Mazurkas 
a strong family likeness, yet while they all so 
resemble one another, the harmonic and rhythmic 
ideas are so varied as to make no two exactly alike. 
It would be impossible, on account of their number, 



to consider here the many striking features of these 
fantastic miniatures, and to do them justice. We 
must therefore content ourselves with having glanced 
at a few of their prevailing characteristics. 

Nevertheless, we cannot leave them without noting 
a technical detail, which is especially noticeable in 
these and many other of the works. That is the 
frequent use by Chopin of a sequence of the chords of 
the seventh. The following is a prominent example 
of this. 


-ft— ^— l ghH — H F- 





i i - 

^ -n- 5 


Vide Op. 17, No. 1. 
The next composition which claims our attention 
is the Op. 8, Trio for pianoforte, violin, and violon- 
cello, in G minor. This we regard as one of the most 
perfect, and, unfortunately, most neglected of Chopin's 
works. It is in sonata form, and has the four move- 
ments, Allegro, Scherzo, Adagio, and finale. The 


work opens with a short preamble of eight bars, in the 
last of which the principal theme is announced by the 
violin, the pianoforte accompanying with arpeggio 
chords until the tenth bar is reached, when it takes up 
the theme in octaves. We then have a tributary with 
the following beautiful pianoforte figure, of which the 

^^fegfc^j j g 

te n — z ^ 


inner part is doubled by the violin, and the bass by 
the 'cello. This continues until we come to an 
episode, also in G minor, for the string instrument, the 
pianoforte accompaniment consisting of short chords, 
accentuating the rhythm ; this also comes to a close in 
G minor. And here we may mention that this pre- 
valence of the tonic key seems to us the only blot 
to mar the movement. By-and-by we get a short 
digression into the key of E flat, but we no sooner 
begin to feel the benefit of it than we are led back 
again to the inevitable primary key. The ' Scherzo ' 


is delightful, and the movement so flowing and full of 
life that it carries us along irresistibly, while it is 
difficult in the domain of chamber music to name a 
more beautiful movement than the Adagio. Here is 
the lovely theme first announced by the pianoforte : — 

fcf=f— tfjftcp z£^ Epl§=3E^ 

rg i -— fc 

^~VfTtt r f"f = ^ »^" 


and taken up by the viohn, and we can quite under- 
stand the admiration which the work aroused in 
Schumann, when he described it as being ' as noble 
as possible, more full of enthusiasm than the work 
of any other tone poet, original in its most minute 
details, and every note music and life.' 


Chopin's next journey was to Vienna. In July 
1829 we find him starting for the Austrian capital, 
in company with his friends Maciejowski, Hube, and 
Celinski. The party stopped a week on the way at 
Cracow, the ancient Polish capital, exploring the 
town and neighbourhood, which presented many 
features of interest to the lover of Poland and things 
Polish. Having made this pleasurable halt, they 
continued their journey to Vienna, arriving in that 
city on or about the last day of July. Chopin had 
brought with him, amongst others, a letter of in- 
troduction from Eisner to Haslinger, the music 
publisher at Vienna, and one of the first things he 
did after arrival was to present it. He had already 
sent Haslinger some manuscripts, which the publisher 
had promised to bring out, but which, never- 
theless, still remained in ms. He describes his 


reception by Haslinger as being most cordial, the 
publisher promising him that his ' Variations ' should 
shortly appear in a musical periodical, entitled the 
Odeon, which he was bringing out. At the same 
time he strongly advised Chopin to let the public 
hear him play, but experienced considerable difficulty 
in overcoming the young artist's prejudice against 
so doing. It is probable that Chopin felt some mis- 
givings about playing in the city which had heard 
Beethoven and Mozart, and, moreover, he realised 
that it was a widely different thing to playing before 
his own countrymen and in his own country, where 
records of his wonderful performances had widely 
gone forth. There seems to have been no lack of 
interest brought to bear upon him with the object 
of inducing him to give a concert. Count Gallenberg, 
the lessee of the Karnthnerthor Theatre at the 
time, even went so far as to place the house at 
his disposal for the purpose, and was backed up 
heartily by his capellmeister, Wiirfel, and Blahetka, 
a journalist well known and of some influence, both 
of whom assured Chopin of their belief in his success. 
At length he was overcome by their arguments, and 


the concert duly announced, and on 11th August 
Chopin made his first bow to the Viennese public. 
The programme included Beethoven's Overture to 
Prometheus, the Don Juan Variations, the Krakowiak 
Rondo, an aria of Rossini and one of Vaccaj's 
sung by Mdlle. Veltheim ; besides which Chopin gave 
them a short improvisation. Writing of the concert 
to Woyciechowski, he says : ' This first appearance 
before the Viennese public did not in the least excite 
me, and I sat down to play on a splendid instrument 
of Graff's, perhaps the best in Vienna. A painted 
young man, who prided himself upon having per- 
formed the same service for Moscheles, Hummel, and 
Herz, turned over the leaves for me in the Variations. 
Notwithstanding that I was in a desperate mood 
the Variations pleased so much that I was recalled 
several times. Mdlle. Veltheim sang exquisitely, and 
my improvisation was followed by much applause 
and many recalls.' The press was as unanimous as 
the public in his praise, and the concert would have 
been an unqualified success had it not been for some 
slight disagreeableness on the part of the members 
of the orchestra. We can best get an idea of this 


from his letter : — ' The members of the orchestra were 
evidently annoyed with me at rehearsal: I think 
what vexed them most was my desire to make my 
debut with a new composition. I commenced with 
the Variations, which were in their turn to be fol- 
lowed by the Rondo Krakowiak. We got through 
the Variations well enough, but the Rondo went so 
badly that we had to begin twice from the com- 
mencement; this appears to have been caused by 
my bad writing. I ought to have placed the figures 
above instead of below the rests, as that appears 
to be the method to which the Viennese musicians 
are accustomed.' 

Apart from this, the only criticism at all adverse 
seems to have been on the part of one or two who 
pronounced Chopin's playing to err on the side of 
softness and delicacy, but, as he himself said, that 
was only because they were ' accustomed to the drum- 
beating of their own virtuosi.' 

He was peculiarly sensible to anything in the way 
of adverse newspaper criticism, for on one occasion 
he wrote: — 'If the newspapers cut me up so much 
that I shall not venture before the world again, I 


have resolved to become a house-painter ; that would 
be as easy as anything else, and I should, at all 
events, still be an artist,' 

On August the 20th Chopin gave his second 
concert in Vienna, and seems to have set the seal 
upon the success which he had already achieved, 
but he writes : — ' Under no circumstances will I give 
a third concert ; I only give this second one because 
I am forced to, for I thought that people in Warsaw 
might say, "He only gave one concert in Vienna, 
so he could not have been much liked." ' 

At the second concert the 'Variations' were, by 
special request, repeated, and the Rondo which, 
although in the programme of the first concert, had 
been omitted, was on this occasion produced. Speak- 
ing of it as a composition, one of the chief Vienna 
critics said that, ' while the piece rarely rose to genial- 
ity, it nevertheless had passages which were distin- 
guished by careful and thoughtful workmanship, 
though, on the whole, it lacked variety. Of his play- 
ing there was but slight qualification of the praise 
bestowed ; for the same critic wrote : — ' The master 
showed his dexterity as a pianist to perfection, and 



overcame with seemingly small trouble the greatest 
difficulties, and connoisseurs and amateurs alike mani- 
fested loudly their recognition of his wonderful play- 
ing.' He spent only three weeks in Vienna, yet in 
that short time he managed to do a good deal. He 
took the opportunity of being present at the perform- 
ances of Rossini's Cenerentola,- Boieldieu's Dame 
Blanche, and Meyerbeer's Crociato in Egitto, besides 
which he established the most friendly relations with 
Czerny, Haslinger, Lachner, Kreutzer, and others. 
His popularity increased as he was known, and 
astonished him, for he said, ' people wonder at me 
so, that I positively wonder at them for wondering 
at me.' Indeed, his reception was enthusiastic in 
the extreme, and the parting was regretted on all 
sides. Miss Blahetka (whose father had been partly 
instrumental in inducing Chopin to give his first 
concert), and who was herself a pianist and composer, 
presented Chopin with a copy of her compositions 
bearing her signature, as a memento of his visit ; 
and the many artists whose acquaintance Chopin 
had made in Vienna met together in order to say 
farewell, and give the young artist a happy send-off, 
one and all begging him to return soon. 


Prague was now their destination, and in the 
Bohemian city they arrived on August 21. Whilst 
in Vienna, Wurfel and Blahetka had provided Chopin 
with letters of introduction to all the musical 
celebrities in Prague, chief amongst whom at this 
time was Frederick Pixis, professor of the violin at 
the Conservatoire, and conductor at the theatre. At 
the house of Pixis he was fortunate enough to meet 
Alex. Klengel of Dresden, who happened to be pass- 
ing through Prague on his way to Vienna. Klengel 
played his fugues to Chopin, who, in a letter, expresses 
himself as pleased with the great contrapuntist, 
although, he was obliged to confess, somewhat dis- 
appointed with his performance. Pressed to stay 
and give a concert, he refused, mindful, no doubt, 
of the very severe manner in which Paganini, the 
violinist, had, on the occasion of his appearance 
there, been handled by the critics of Prague. So 
after pleasantly spending three days in the capital 
of Bohemia, they pursued their way vid Teplitz to 
Dresden, which latter place they reached on the 
26th August. 

His visit to this city was uneventful, for beyond 
witnessing a performance of Faust, with Charles 


Devrient (nephew of the great Louis Devrient) in 
the title-role, and paying a visit to the Capellmeister 
Morlacchi, there is absolutely nothing of interest 
chronicled of his short stay. The remainder of the 
journey to Warsaw was made by way of Breslau, 
and we find Chopin once again installed in his 
native city in the early part of September. 

But the taste he had just had of the world, 
and more especially of the artistic world, had its 
effect upon Chopin, and he found it impossible 
to settle down in Warsaw, and work steadily on 
as he had done before he left it. Moreover, such 
a course was rendered the more impossible, owing 
to his having become the victim of a passion, perhaps 
as intense as it was short-lived, for the opera-singer 
Constantia Gladkowska. While writing to his friend 
Titus, and stating that ' in no case would he remain 
the winter in Warsaw,' he goes on to say, ' do not 
think for one moment that, when I urge the advan- 
tages of a stay in Vienna, I am thinking of Miss 
Blahetka, of whom I have already written to you, 
for I have — perhaps to my misfortune — already 
found my ideal, which I worship faithfully and 


sincerely. Six months have now passed, and I 
have not yet exchanged a word with her of whom 
I nightly dream. Whilst thinking of her I composed 
the Adagio of my Concerto, 1 and early this morning 
she inspired the waltz, 1 which I send you with this 
letter.' Concerning this episode in Chopin's life we 
have from Liszt a description which, in a manner 
thoroughly characteristic of him, he surrounds 
with a halo of sentiment and mystery grossly 
exaggerated. This is what he tells : — ' The tempest, 
which in one of its sudden gusts tore Chopin from 
his native soil, like a bird dreamy and abstracted, 
surprised by the storm upon the branches of a 
foreign tree, sundered the ties of this first love, 
and robbed the exile of a faithful and devoted 
wife, as well as disinherited him of a country.' 
The young girl, he adds, was sweet and beauti- 
ful. Chopin like a ' dreamy and abstracted bird 
upon a foreign tree ' surely savours rather of the 
ridiculous ! 

We know that, although of no very long duration, 
Chopin's attachment for this young singer was serious 

1 The Concerto in F minor, and the Waltz, Op. 70, in D flat. 


while it lasted ; of this it is not difficult to judge'from 
a letter written some time later from Vienna, in which 
he says : — ' God forbid that she should suffer in any 
way on my account. Let her mind be at rest, and 
tell her that so long as my heart beats I shall not 
cease to adore her. Tell her, that even after death, 
my ashes shall be strewn beneath her feet.' And 
much more in the same strain. Neither must we 
lose sight of the fact that she was quite a girl, 
and at the time engaged in studying vocalisa- 
tion at the Conservatoire. To Chopin, therefore, 
was such an event as her debut upon the operatic 
stage, which occurred about this time, doubly in- 
teresting, and we can forgive him for launching 
forth in praise of his divinity as he did upon the 
occasion, especially as she was in no wise a bad 
singer. Chopin was, therefore, as we have said, very 
restless in his native town ; indeed he himself wrote : 
— ' If I were not so happy in my home circle, I 
should certainly not live here.' He was continually 
forming plans for going abroad, and inclined, above 
all, to return to Vienna, although his father wished 
him to go to Berlin, in which city Prince Radziwill and 


his wife had invited the young musician to stay with 
them. This invitation Chopin did not accept, although 
he did accept that of the prince to visit him at An- 
tonin, his country seat. Thither he set out in October, 
and seems to have passed a very pleasant time with 
the prince and his family, and indeed, not to have 
been blind to the fascinations of the prince's charm- 
ing daughters, one of whom was an excellent 
pianiste. The prince himself was no mean per- 
former on the violoncello, and he and Chopin played 
a good deal together. Writing from Antonin, Chopin 
says: — 'I have written during my stay here an Alia 
Polacca with violoncello. It is nothing more than a 
brilliant salon piece, such as pleases ladies. I should 
like the Princess Wanda to practise it. She is only 
seventeen years of age, and very beautiful ; it 
would be delightful to have the pleasure of placing 
her pretty fingers upon the keys.' I think this 
sentence sufficiently demonstrates that Chopin was 
not so absolutely engrossed with his love for Con- 
stantia Gladkowska as to be oblivious to all else. 
With him it was invariably ' out of sight out of mind,' 
and he was ever a victim to the latest impression. 


With the additional attraction of having a musician 
in his host, it may be easily imagined that Chopin 
was loth to leave such charming society ; but he felt 
that it was incumbent upon him to get on with his 
composition, and the F minor Concerto still lacked a 
' finale.' 

At this time he also composed some studies, most 
of the Op. 10, Avhich we shall shortly proceed to 
discuss. But before doing so it is necessary to notice 
the concerts given at this time by Chopin in Warsaw. 
The first of these took place on March 17, 1830, and 
the programme included such pieces as the overture 
to Leszek Bialy from an opera by Eisner, Allegro from 
the Concerto in F minor, and Adagio and Rondo 
from the same Concerto, some Variations by Paer, 
sung by Madame Meier and a pot-pourri on national 
airs, composed and played by Chopin. Of these the 
Adagio and Rondo proved most successful ; but still 
the old complaint was made against him, namely, 
want of power. 

The full beauty and ' finesse ' of Chopin's playing 
was never really fully understood by his own country- 
men in Warsaw. He appealed to them most when, 


as in the Krakowiak or Fantasia, he gave them the 
bare national material more or less furbished and 
elaborated by himself. Of his finer and more original 
efforts they showed nothing like the same apprecia- 
tion. The second concert followed a week later. In 
the programme we find a symphony by Nowakowski, 
the Rondo Krakowiak, an aria from Elena e Malvina, 
by Soliva, sung by Mme. Meier, and again two move- 
ments from the F minor concerto. He also impro- 
vised on Polish national airs. The press was most 
eulogistic, and congratulations poured in upon him 
from all sides, and although he did not seem to 
think anything of the financial result, he had, 
nevertheless, every reason to be thankful, for the 
net proceeds from both concerts came out at some- 
thing over £100. He had made up his mind to give 
a third concert, but deemed it best to postpone doing 
so until within a short time of his departure. This, 
as it turned out, was further off than he anticipated. 
In the meantime he continued to make progress with 
his composition, and while at work on a new concerto 
still found time for the completion of several Etudes, 
which it will be convenient here to consider ; although, 


of course, many of the collection were not written 
until later. The title ' studies ' has generally been 
understood to mean pieces written without necessarily 
any musical inspiration, and having solely for their 
object the practice or perfection of any mechanical 
difficulty. This cannot be said to be wholly the case 
with the Etudes of Chopin. They were undoubtedly 
written with a view to the further development of the 
technique, and are, when looked at from that point of 
view, perfect. But at the same time their aesthetic 
value is as great as that of any of his works. It is 
evident that nothing but the QTeatest ' finesse ' in 
pianoforte playing satisfied Chopin; above all, he 
valued in a pupil a delicate and sympathetic touch. 
This he very rarely found, consequently its cultiva- 
tion was invariably the first thing towards which he 
directed his attention in a pupil. 

Hitherto the methods of Emanuel Bach and 
Clementi had been generally accepted as all that 
was needful for the playing of any composition 
then written for the pianoforte. And this was 
so, generally speaking. For the features of modern 
pianoforte playing for which it is found to be 


inadequate, are the work of such romanticists as 
Chopin, Schumann, and Liszt. With them an en- 
tirely new horizon in the art of piano playing was 
opened up. The whole characteristic of our modern 
pianoforte school is the result of romanticism and not 
of classicism. For while classicism is the perfection 
of form, romanticism does not hesitate to express the 
individuality and personality of the composer, even 
so far as writing music, which may seem certainly 
untuneful, if not harsh, to the ear, should the 
thoughts and intention of the composer be such. 
And certainly our thoughts and emotions change 
in seconds rather than in minutes. When, therefore, 
the emotional and romantic works of such men as 
Schumann and Chopin were created, the old school 
of pianoforte technique was quite inadequate as a 
means of their a3Sthetic expression. There is no 
doubt that a great deal of the difficulty at first 
experienced in the rendering of Schumann's piano- 
forte works was owing to defects in the pianoforte 
technique of their composer ; but this was not the 
case with Chopin, who, as we know, had been 
thoroughly trained in the art of pianoforte playing, 


and was familiar with, and master of, all the re- 
sources of the instrument. Another great difficulty 
encountered in Schumann's music lay in the compli- 
cated rhythms, and the use of both hands in the 
playing of one musical phrase. And here, again, 
Chopin differs from him, for no matter to what ex- 
tent he may wish the tempo rubato used, it is rarely 
indulged in but by one of the hands, the other 
invariably marking a clear beat. Chopin also intro- 
duced absolutely new methods of fingering, and 
entirely threw over such accepted dicta as, for 
instance, ' the thumb or fourth finger should never 
be used on the black keys except in very rare cases.' 
The quality which he valued most in the player was a 
sympathetic touch, and for the attainment of this he 
maintained the first requisite to be an easy position 
of the hand. To this matter he gave much care and 
thought, — with this conclusion, that in order to 
obtain at once a graceful and commanding posi- 
tion, the hands should be placed so that the five 
fingers of the right hand rested on the notes E, 
F sharp, G sharp, A sharp, and B, and those of the 
left on C, B flat, G flat, and F flat. If the fingers 
are placed upon these notes of the instrument, 


it will be found that the hands are somewhat 
turned in opposite directions, and are more ready 
for the rapid execution of scale passages and arpeggi 
than in any other position. When teaching a pupil 
Chopin adhered strictly to this, and would even for 
the while submit to the uneven execution of some 
passages, until the pupil became used to his position 
of the hands. Chopin it was who initiated pianoforte 
players in the matter of having the second and third 
fingers over the fourth in ascending passages, while 
he frequently passed the thumb after the third or 
fourth finger. All such movements had, of course, 
to be played until they were got so smoothly 
that the shifting of the fingers was in no way notice- 
able. As a result of such innovations as these, it 
became necessary that studies should be written 
which should, by bringing in these new features, 
render the execution of them perfect. These we 
shall now proceed to notice severally. We find them 
under Op. Nos. 10 and 25, entitled respectively 
Twelve Grand Studies, and Twelve Studies, besides 
which we have Three New Studies on the ' Methode 
des Methodes,' of Moscheles and Fetis, without Opus 
number, but which were published about 1840. Of 



the first group, Op. 10, we will first notice No. 2, 
which is particularly illustrative of Chopin's method 
of passing the second and third fingers over the 
fourth, to which Ave have just alluded. 

Perhaps if we might single out any particular one 
as being more beautiful than its companions, it would 
be No. 3 of this group. The movement is Lento ma 
non Troppo, and there is one long chain of entrancing 
melody and harmony throughout. What could be 
more expressive of tender ' longing ' than the following 
phrase of four bars, which occurs at the eighteenth bar. 

J^*-« ten. I 
■-•-^ — i 1 

z?if s --^ 






sempre legato 
P M — 




rgi£z:pq i _E=f: 


S I -•- 1 

Chopin himself considered this study to contain 


the most bautiful melody he ever wrote, but it 
would be at once difficult and invidious to make 
a selection amid such a casket of gems. We 
would fain linger over these studies, but must be 
content with picking out those which are especially 
conspicuous, either from an aesthetic point of view or 
by their purpose, that is, the development of some 
technical difficulty. Midway between this classifica- 
tion may be said to come No. 5, which, although 
having for its object the perfecting of the technique 
(the right hand playing only the black notes), has 
such an amount of brilliancy as to raise it to a higher 
level, though it is not to be compared to the poetical 
No. 3, for instance. The colour of No. 6 is sombre in 
the extreme. The accompanying semi-quaver is 
treated chromatically throughout, the bass being firm 
and dignified. Notice the peculiar 'Major' effect of 
the last bar but 4, when we are interrupted by 

I I J i 


which comes upon us like the sun emerging from a 
mass of dark clouds, only once more to disappear 
from our view, and leave us in our former half-light. 
In No. 7 of the same set there is nothing calling 
for special notice. It is not nearly so Chopinesque 
as its companions ; indeed, in the fourth and fifth bars 
of this study we find a distinct Mendelssohnian 
flavour. Curiously enough, in the following No. 9 we 
again come upon a similarity of idea with Mendels- 
sohn. Compare this Etude in F minor with Mendels- 
sohn's Lied Ohne Worte, No. 6 in F sharp minor. The 
' germ ' of the idea is certainly very similar, though 
the development of it differs entirely, the one being 
an andante tranquillo, and the other being marked 
allegro niolto agitato. No. 11 is interesting as a 
study in the extended harmonies so often met with 
in the other compositions. On opening the Op. 25 
we are immediately struck by the great clearness 
of the melody of the first number. It is more 
sequential and straightforward than usual ; one 
might almost compare it to a beautiful fabric from 
which the pattern stands out boldly, while the weav- 
ing of the texture beneath is of the finest. There is 


nothing in the least approaching the ' morbid ' in it, 
which is the more noticeable, as it is in that direc- 
tion that we must look to account for much that is 
unsatisfactory in the children of Chopin's genius. 
No. 6 is evidently written as an exercise for the clear 
and even execution of ' thirds.' In No. 7, again, we 
find an example of the composer's great wealth of 
melody. The key is C sharp minor, and the first bars 
are unutterably sad, but here we cannot agree with 
Professor Niecks, who finds the work monotonous ; on 
the contrary, it is, to our mind, one of the most beauti- 
ful of them all. Notice in this work the elaborate 
cadenzas for the left hand, the right hand acting as 
conductor and keeping the rhythm. No. 8 is a study 
in ' sixths ' for the right hand, No. 10 a study in 
octaves for the left hand. Had Professor Niecks 
applied the term monotonous to No. 12, we should 
have been more ready to endorse his opinion, as, 
although great power is manifested, the very ' same- 
ness' of the form of the arpeggio figure causes a 
certain amount of monotony to be felt. Of the 
Three New Studies, No. 3 is a little gem. The 
melodic grace is charming, and seems to flow from an 



endless stream. It is interesting here to notice little 
evidences of ' personality/ perhaps almost manner- 
isms, which go to show that the same hand which 
wrote this study also penned the Scherzo in B flat 
minor, Op. 31. With this we come to the end of 
the Etudes. It is only when we are intimate with 
these truly pathetic utterances that we recognise the 
insufficiency of the technical name applied to them. 
They can only compare with the preludes (also a mis- 
applied title) as being expressive of Chopin's most 
personal feelings, and what we may term the 
' dreamy ' side of his genius. 



' Warsaw, Sep. 18th, 1830. 

' I do not quite know why I am still here, but I 
am happy, and my parents agree to my remaining. 
Last Wednesday I tried my concerto with quartet 
accompaniment, but cannot say that I was altogether 
satisfied with it. Those who were present at the 
rehearsal say that the finale is the most successful 
movement — perhaps because it is the one easiest 
understood. I shall not be able to tell you until 
next week how it will sound with the full orchestra. 
. . . To-morrow I am to have another rehearsal with 
the quartet, and then I shall go — whither ? I have 
no special attraction anywhere, but, in any event, I 
shall not remain in Warsaw. If you think that it is 
some beloved object that keeps me here, you are 
wrong, like a good many other people. I can assure 



you that, so far as I myself am concerned, I am ready 
for any sacrifice. I love, but I must keep my unhappy 
passion locked in my own breast for some years 
longer ... I was at great big C.'s yesterday, for his 
name-day, when I took part in Spohr's Quintet for 
piano, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, and flute. The 
work is extremely beautiful, but I do not find the 
pianoforte part very playable. . . . Instead of com- 
mencing at seven o'clock we did not begin until 
eleven. You are doubtless surprised that I was not 
fast asleep. But there was a very good reason why I 
should keep awake, for among the guests was a very 
beautiful girl, who vividly reminded me of my ideal ; 
just fancy, I stayed till three a.m. I intended to have 
started for Vienna this day week, but finally gave up 
the idea — perhaps you can guess why. You may rest 
assured that I am no egoist, and as truly as I love 
you I would make any sacrifice for other people ; but 
not for outside appearances ; for public opinion, which 
is much valued here, although I am not influenced 
by it, regards it as a calamity for one to have a shabby 
coat or hat. If I fail in my profession, and wake up 
some morning to find myself without anything to eat, 


you must get a clerkship for me at Poturzya. I shall 
be quite as happy in a stable as I was in your castle 
last summer. So long as I have health and strength 
I will gladly work all my days. . . . People often 
lose the good opinion of others by trying to gain it ; 
but I do not think that I shall either raise or lower 
myself in your estimation by singing my own praises, 
for I feel there is mutual sympathy between us.' 

We have quoted somewhat lengthily from this 
letter, chiefly because it is so very typical of his 
character. There is in it so much of that indecision, 
that want of strength of mind, which so influenced 
the whole of Chopin's life. Notice how, after express- 
ing the great depth of his love for his ideal, and 
volunteering to make any sacrifice for her, he is quite 
willing for the time being to accept the shadow for 
the substance, and amuse himself heartily with the 
pretty young lady who reminded him of his ' ideal.' 
Again, mark his great indecision with regard to his 
movements. First he decides he will go, then he 
changes his mind, and so on. This was always so 
with Chopin. He resigned himself to whatever in- 
fluence happened to be the latest and the strongest. 


It was often in his mind to do the wisest and the 
kindest things ; but how often did he do them ? 
and simply because he allowed himself to be swept 
away by others who were more strong-willed than 
himself. We may doubtless assume that much 
of this weakness of character was due to the lack 
of stamina in his constitution, but apart from that 
it was his prevailing characteristic, and shows itself 
at times most forcibly in his art. 

The third concert given by Chopin in Warsaw 
ultimately took place on 11th October 1830. He had 
in the meantime completed the E minor Concerto, 
which formed the chief feature of the programme. 
Besides this were given a symphony by Gorner, the 
overture to Eossini's William Tell, the Cavatina 
from the same master's La Donna del Lago, sung by 
Miss Gladkowska, and Fantasia on the Polish airs. 
The success of the concert was complete, Chopin 
excelling himself in the Concerto, which, having had 
the advantage of much rehearsal, benefited accord- 
ingly. Especially successful also was the Fantasia, 
while Chopin himself was greatly delighted with the 
masterly way in which Soliva conducted the per- 


formance. Altogether this was one of the most 
successful concerts he ever gave. 

On the 1st November Chopin took his departure 
once again for Vienna, Eisner and several of his friends 
accompanying him as far as Wola, the first village 
beyond Warsaw. Here they were met by the pupils of 
the Conservatoire, who sang a Cantata, which had been 
composed by Eisner for the occasion. Having taken 
leave of his friends and family, Chopin proceeded on 
his journey, and at Kalisz was joined by his fidus 
Achates, Titus Woyciechowski, after which they 
travelled together to Vienna by way of Breslau. 
Here they halted for a time, Chopin taking the 
opportunity of renewing his acquaintance with the 
Capellmeister Schnabel. The latter invited Chopin 
to accompany him to rehearsal one morning. On 
this occasion the Concerto in E flat of Moscheles was 
about to be rehearsed, and the pianoforte solo was to 
be played by a young amateur. On the appearance 
of Chopin the young fellow began to display evident 
signs of nervousness, and begged to be excused his 
part of the performance. Consequently, on being 
pressed to play in his stead, our artist consented, and 


driving straightway back to his hotel, got his music, 
and returned to rehearse the E minor Concerto, which 
was given the same evening. He seems to have 
considerably astonished everybody ; indeed, they were 
quite at a loss what to make of him, yet no one 
thought of denying that they were in the presence, 
and under the spell, of a great artist. 

Leaving Breslau on 10th November, his next place 
of call was Dresden, where he arrived two days later. 
In this city he made several friends, amongst whom 
must be mentioned Vincent Eastrelli, and Kolla the 
violinist, whilst he had the opportunity of cementing 
the friendship already formed with Klengel. His 
intention at this time was to proceed finally from 
Vienna to Milan, and, knowing this, Rubini (a 
brother of the celebrated tenor) and Kolla provided 
him with letters to the most influential people in the 
musical world of Northern Italy. But, as we shall 
see, this project was not destined to be carried out. 
Passing through Prague, Vienna was reached at the 
end of November. Here they put up at a hotel 
until the apartments which they had taken were 
vacant, and they were enabled to take possession of 


them. At his reception in Vienna we fear Chopin 
was somewhat disappointed. The success he had 
made there had led him to expect an enthusiastic 
reception from such people as publishers and 
managers on his return ; and, as is frequently the 
case with people of his enthusiastic and artistic 
temperament, he imagined that everyone was so 
interested in his success that it was a matter of as 
much moment to them as to him. But although he 
had undoubtedly pleased greatly at the time of his 
former visit, he was very soon forgotten, and his 
success merged in that of other artists who had later 
occupied the public attention. His sense of dis- 
appointment was in no degree lessened by the result 
of his visit to Haslinger, who, it will be remembered, 
still had the MS. of his Don Juan ' Variations.' The 
publisher absolutely declined to print this work ; 
neither could he be persuaded to have anything to 
do with the F minor Concerto. Haslinger had been 
assured — if such assurance he needed — of the 
excellence of Chopin's work ; more than this, he had 
proof of its success with the public. Yet he would 
have none of it. No doubt the business man will 


say : < It is not to be expected that a publisher will 
print works which, for some reason or other of his 
own, he considers unlikely to sell.' Nevertheless, if 
a publisher is content to make handsome profits out 
of the lighter forms of a composer's art, it is only 
right that he should benefit art, and the composer, 
by publishing those works which, although they may 
not be the direct means of filling his coffers, can, 
nevertheless, reflect nothing but credit on all con- 
cerned in their production. But Haslinger was 
pig-headed, and stuck to his opinion, and the 
Variations and Concerto remained for the present in 
their ms. state. Count Gallenberg, who had so 
assisted Chopin on his former visit, had been obliged, 
owing to heavy financial losses, to relinquish his con- 
tract and retire from the management of the theatre. 
To the new manager, Duport, Chopin was introduced 
by Hummel. But the results were not satisfactory. 
Duport would guarantee nothing, and did not 
encourage him to give a concert at all. So that it is 
small wonder that we find Chopin writing to Eisner 
in a tone nothing short of despondent. Says he : — 
' I meet with obstacles on every side. Not only does a 


series of wretched pianoforte concerts entirely ruin all 
real music and tire the public, but the occurrences in 
Poland have also had their effect upon my position.' 

To add to his other troubles, the insurrection 
in Poland — which is the occurrence to which he 
alludes — caused the return to that country of his 
friend Titus. This left poor Chopin quite heart- 
broken, and so desperately did he feel his loneliness 
that in one of his weaker moments he actually took 
post-horses and attempted to overtake his friend ; 
but finding it useless he returned to Vienna. Such 
actions as these serve to show us how hopelessly incap- 
able he was of withstanding the ordinary trials and 
troubles of life, especially of an artist's life, which is of 
all, perhaps, the most beset with them. Discouraged 
on all sides, he at length abandoned all idea of concert 
giving in Vienna, and so little able did he feel himself 
to cope with the life he had entered upon, that he 
wrote to Matuszynski : ' I would not willingly be a 
burden to my father; were I not in fear of that I 
should at once return to Warsaw. I often feel that 
I curse the moment in which I ever left my home. 
You will, I am sure, feel for me in my condition, and 


understand that since Titus went away too much has 
suddenly fallen upon me. The numerous dinners, 
soirees, concerts, and balls, which I am obliged to be 
present at, only weary me. I am very melancholy, 
and feel so lonely and deserted here. There is no 
soul in whom I can unreservedly confide, yet I have 

so many " friends " ' 

His indecision and weakness of character shows 
up very conspicuously under these trials, and he 
seems only able to lean on his parents and 
friends for advice as to what would be best for 
him to do. 'I do not know,' he says, 'whether I 
ought to go soon to Italy or wait a little longer. 
Please, dearest father, let me know your and my good 
mother's wish in this matter,' and again he asks his 
friend Matuszynski, 'Shall I return home? Shall I 
stay here? Shall I kill myself? or shall I go to Paris?' 
Fate decided for him in so far as going to Italy was 
concerned, for the political disturbances then taking 
place in that country rendered a visit there at the 
time quite out of the question. But even when he 
had made up his mind that it would be best for him 
to go to Paris, there still remained the weighty 


question as to when he should put his decision into 
execution. In the meantime he pursued a very quiet 
life in Vienna ; of this we can get no better idea than 
from one of his letters. Thus he writes : — ' The 
intolerably stupid servant calls me early, and I rise, 
take my coffee, which is frequently quite cold, owing 
to my forgetting my breakfast for my music. My 
German teacher appears punctually at nine o'clock, 
after which I generally write. Hummel (son of the 
composer) comes to work at my portrait, and Nidecki 
to study my concerto. I remain in my comfortable 
dressing-gown until twelve o'clock, at which hour 
Dr. Liebenfrost, a lawyer, sometimes drops in to see 
me. Weather permitting, I walk with him on the 
Glacis, then we dine at the ' Zum Bomischen Kochin,' 
which is the rendezvous of the Academy Students, 
and afterwards we go to one of the best coffee-houses. 
Then I make calls, get into my evening clothes, and 
perhaps go to some soiree. About eleven or twelve 
o'clock (never later) I come home, play, or read, and 
then go to bed.' 

In his correspondence at this time we find 
frequent reference to Constant]" a, his love for whom 


he does not seem yet to have got over. More- 
over, at no time — no matter how depressed he 
may have felt — did he allow his parents to think he 
was anything but perfectly happy. To his friend he 
says : — ' If she (Constantia) mocks me, tell her the 
same as my parents, namely, that I am very happy 
and in want of nothing ; but should she inquire kindly 
for me, and show concern for me, whisper to her 
that, away from her, I am ever lonely and unhappy.' 
Amongst his most intimate friends at this time 
was Dr. Malfatti, who had also been the friend of 
Beethoven, whom he had attended on his death- 
bed. Chopin was a frequent visitor at the doctor's 
house, and in his letters we find great stress laid upon 
the friendship existing between them. He frequently 
dined at the doctor's, in reference to which he says, 
' I am very brisk and in good health. Malfatti's soups 
have strengthened me so much that I now feel better 
than I ever did. Malfatti really loves me, and I am 
not a little proud of it.' At Dr. Malfatti's house he 
met the publisher Mechetti, to whom he handed for 
publication the Polonaise of 'Cello and Piano, Op. 3. 
Besides Haslinger and this Mechetti, Czerny was the 


only publisher of importance in Vienna at the time, 
and it was with difficulty that Chopin was able to 
persuade them into publishing his works. ' Waltzes,' 
he says, 'are here called works, and it is almost 
waltzes alone that are published.' This is not difficult 
to credit, for we know the enormous hold which was 
obtained over the public by Strauss and Lanner, with 
their compositions in this form. Every newspaper 
went into ecstasies over each new set of waltzes that 
was published, and the articles which appeared 
concerning these purveyors of dances and their works 
were certainly longer and more numerous than those 
which had been written concerning Mozart or 

As we have seen, Chopin invariably kept his 
parents in the dark with regard to what he termed 
his ' misfortunes,' which, it must be owned, were often 
more the result of his own ' passive ' disposition than 
anything else. He was not a man to grasp oppor- 
tunities, and humoured himself and his feelings to an 
extent which was frequently prejudicial to his in- 
terests. He had given no concert, simply because 
he had not been encouraged to do so by those to 


whom he was wont to look for advice in these 
matters. His father seems to have been much dis- 
appointed at this, and wrote remonstrating with him 
upon it. Chopin's only reply was, that it was his 
most fervent desire to fulfil his wishes, and to give 
a concert, but that hitherto he had found it im- 
possible. He, however, played at a concert given 
by Madame Garzia-Vestris, having for fellow-artists 
Bohm the violinist, Merk, the brothers Lewy (horn- 
players), and the Misses Sabine and Clara Heinfetter. 
Whether it was that things were mismanaged, or not 
managed at all, we do not know ; but Chopin, urged 
by the letter from his parents, did bestir himself, and 
gave a concert at this time, with the lamentable 
result that the expenses were greatly in excess of 
the receipts. Nor did he apply himself to his work 
of composition in any great degree, preferring to pass 
his time in social rather than artistic activity. Thus 
it is that these months spent in Vienna did little 
or nothing to increase his fame or name. On one 
or two occasions we find mention in his letters of his 
having finished some waltz or mazurka, but never 
does he speak seriously of his work. His attention 


and thoughts seem to have been directed more upon 
the question of ways and means. This may have been 
brought about partly by the failure of the concert ; 
but, be that as it may, he was obliged to write to his 
parents for money to enable him to leave Vienna. 

His departure from the Austrian capital took 
place in the latter part of July 1831, Chopin travel- 
ling in company with his friend Kumelski, to Paris 
vid Salzburg and Munich. At the latter town he 
was obliged to wait monetary supplies from his 
parents. Assisted by several fellow-artists, he took 
advantage of this enforced interruption of his 
journey to give a concert, at which he played 
the E minor Concerto, and Fantasia on Polish 
airs. Of these compositions the press spoke 
highly, especially praising the Rondo movement 
of the Concerto. The journey to Paris was in due 
course continued, the next stop being made at 
Stuttgart. Here it was that he was informed of 
the capture by the Russians of his native city, 
which, as he says, ' caused him very great pain.' 
Having turned his back on Stuttgart, Chopin's 
career may be said, — so far as Germany is con- 


cerned, — to have ended. Henceforth, Paris was to 
be his home, and there it is that we shall now leave 
him for a time, whilst in the meanwhile we direct 
our attention upon his work. Those pieces which 
we shall proceed to notice are the Concerto in 
E minor, Op. 11, for piano and orchestra, the 
Fantasia, Op. 13, and the Concerto in F minor, 
Op. 21. 

Seeing that Chopin adopted the strict Concerto 
form laid down by Mozart, it is surprising that the 
results of his work done in this form are so satis- 
factory. The Mozart Concerto form is in itself 
unsurpassable as an example of pure classic form; 
but here, as in the case of piano technique, directly 
we enter upon the realm of romanticism, it is 
necessary it should be adapted to the requirements 
of the composer. Beethoven himself led the way 
in this respect, as well as being the first to write 
his own cadenzas, instead of leaving them to the 
fancy of the pianist. Mendelssohn also made in- 
novations on the form, and since their time nearly 
every composer of note may be said to have added 
his ' quota ' of modification. Chopin, however, adhered 


to the strict form, taking Hummel as his imme- 
diate model. Insomuch as a great deal of the music 
of these works is ' virtuoso ' music, he is in that 
more or less successful, but the great essential as 
regards the art of concerto writing is the artistic 
interweaving of the orchestra, with the principal solo 
instrument (in Chopin's case, the piano). It is in 
this respect we notice the great want in Chopin's 
Concertos. The piano music is frequently beautiful, 
but directly the orchestra makes its entry we are 
transferred to another atmosphere ; granted that the 
master had no aptitude for the handling of masses 
of tone, and that his instrumentation was not worthy 
to stand by his pianoforte work, we have, in some 
cases, had his orchestral accompaniments re-scored 
by musicians who have made the art of instrumen- 
tation their special study, and who are naturally 
gifted in that direction. Even then their effect as 
regards the ' Tutti ' is most unsatisfactory. Why ? 
Because Chopin's musical ideas were not ' orchestral.' 
It is difficult for any one who has not written music 
to fully comprehend the great significance of that 
term as applied to any particular theme. Any two 


themes may be equally beautiful as abstract music. 
Yet one may be eminently orchestral, and the other 
purely piano music. We may even go further than 
this, and say that in the true composer for the 
orchestra every theme is conceived together with 
the instrument to which it should be allotted. This 
is the true basis of orchestration outside the bare 
technique, excellence in which is open to all; but 
the faculty of knowing to which instrument any 
particular theme belongs, is a gift, and Chopin was 
without it. We have already seen that the F minor 
Concerto was written before the one in E minor. 
But its publication did not take place until some 
time after ; the respective dates of publication being, 
that of the E minor in 1833 and the F minor in 
1836. It is to the former, however, that we propose 
first to direct our attention. In it we find two dis- 
tinctly opposing forces at work, a leaning in the 
form towards classicism, yet over all an unmistak- 
able presence of the romantic. The composer is 
continually pulling himself up, as much as to say, 
' I am writing a Concerto, and must not let myself 
wander in this way.' Consequently, we cannot but 


be impressed with a sense of insincerity. It is 
strongly borne in upon us that we are in the pre- 
sence of an effort] that the composer is striving to 
be what he felt he was not; to write what he did 
not feel, — in fact, that he is ' manufacturing ' music. 
True, the old conventional concerto did much in itself 
to convey this impression, for had it not for its sole 
raison d'etre the display of the technical capabili- 
ties of the performer ? ' Pianism ' was the essence of 
the Concerto. To-day we have changed all that. 
We treat the piano differently; its share is only 
part and parcel of the whole. The music allotted 
to the solo instrument is embodied with, and de- 
pendent for its existence upon, the remainder of the 
work; and although excellence of technique in the 
performer is a sine qua non, it is relegated to a 
decidedly secondary place. In short, a new variety 
has been developed from the antecedent type. And 
this is as it should be. For should not Art have 
Nature for its model ? and does not Nature con- 
tinually advance by this very development from 
antecedent types ? Assuredly so. Did we rest con- 
tent with a mere imitation of past forms we should 


be true no more to Nature than we should be to 
ourselves. The art forms of a past age are no longer 
the art forms of our age, inasmuch as true art 
should be the spontaneous outcome — in fact, the 
direct expression — of the thought and culture of its 
time. Our only dependence upon, and obligation to, 
those past forms, is in that we retain such features 
of them as are serviceable to our present require- 
ments. In the Concerto this advancement has 
happily taken place to a very large extent, and an 
entirely new order of tone structure is the result. 
But when we have regard to the state of the form 
at the time when Chopin wrote, the only respect in 
which we can reasonably look for him to excel is 
in the direction of ' virtuoso ' music. This, and this 
only, it is that we get from him in his Concertos. 
The idealisation, the individuality, in a word, the 
advancement which is so prominent a feature of his 
smaller work, is conspicuous only by its absence. 
Of these smaller forms in which he wrote there was 
no one which did not gain from his choice of it as 
a medium of expression: indeed, in some cases, as, 
for instance, in that of the Etudes, he so idealised 


it as to remove it entirely from the category 
under which it formerly existed. The Ballade he 
created, albeit in it he can hardly be said to have 
bequeathed an art-form which has been used as a 
means of expression by other composers. It is as 
much a part of his individuality as the thought 
contained in it, and is merely a frame suitable for 
the enclosure of his ideas, — an adaptation to his 
aesthetic purpose, arising from emotional rather than 
any technical causes. Indeed, we may say that in 
the Concerto his subordination to, and inability to 
cope with, form was as conspicuous as was his 
superiority and independence of it in his smaller 
works. In the E minor Concerto we find in the first 
place the introductory tiitti, in which the principal 
themes are announced to consist of 138 bars. This 
could have been contracted with advantage. It 
opens with an introductory phrase (f time) of four 
bars, in which the melody is given to the first violins, 
being strengthened by the entry of the flutes at the 
last beat of the second bar. The same phrase re- 
peated in the key of the sub-dominant is followed by 
several fragmentary phrases, leading us to the first 


subject in E minor. This melody is sustained wholly 
by the first violins, accompanied by the remainder of 
the strings. Twenty bars later we have a phrase 
imitatory of that with which the pianoforte makes 
its first entry. This is given to bassoons, trombones, 
'celli, and basses, accompanied only by strings. On 
the announcement, sixteen bars later, of the second 
subject in E major, the strings again sustain both 
melody and accompaniment, until we have proceeded 
some ten bars, when the horns enter. At the sub- 
sidiary section we get relief by the allotment of the 
melody to the flutes and bassoons, which eight bars 
later give place to the violins and flutes, with string 
and wood-wind accompaniments. The pianoforte 
enters to an accompaniment of strings 'pizzicato, and 
after some bars of passage-work we get to work on 
the first subject in E minor. After twenty-four bars 
comes one of the most delicate and delightful bits of 
writing in the work. This is at the tranquillo semi- 
quaver passages. After more passage -work, the 
second subject in E major is reached, and eight bars 
later there occurs an effective entry of the E horn, 
sustaining portions of the harmony, in the accom- 


paniment. The melody is now smooth and straight- 
forward, but not particularly Chopinesque. At the 
appassionato, the strings, sustaining dotted minims, 
form an effective contrast to the piano part, the 
melody of which proceeds in octaves. At the agitato, 
strings in the accompaniment give way to clarinets, 
bassoons, and horns. FolloAving the tutti, we have 
what is evidently intended for a ' working-out ' 
section in C major, but here clarity cannot be said 
to reign ; indeed, there is much that savours of 
confusion. Shortly before the return to the initial 
theme in E minor, the tutti enters with its opening- 
phrase. The next appearance of the second subject 
is in the key of G major, and is followed by an 
amount of passage-work, by means of which Ave are 
led to the close of the movement in the tonic 
E minor. 

But it may be asked, What is the aesthetic 
effect of all this ? To this Ave can only reply in one 
Avord — unsatisfactory. Besides the reasons Ave have 
already assigned for this, we may add another : the 
Avant of key-contrast. The monotony felt by the 
adherence for so long to the same tonality, and the 


absolute floundering about by the composer in the 
Avorking-out section, is not in any Avay relieved by 
the treatment of the solo instrument. The orchestra 
never gets seriously to Avork, Avhilst there is a lack of 
freshness in the material, and of piquancy in its 
treatment. That spontaneity for Avhich Ave are so 
accustomed to look is conspicuous only by its 
absence. Nor do things improve to any appreciable 
extent in the larghetto and rondo, beyond the fact 
that a good effect is gained by their contrast. 

When Ave remember the circumstances under which 
he Avrote, and the ' Ideal ' Avho inspired it, Ave Avonder 
that there is so little of real inspiration in the former 
movement; for it cannot be compared to the cor- 
responding portion in the companion concerto in 
F minor. It exhales a sickly sweetness Avhich causes 
us to long for a purer atmosphere. This Ave get to a 
certain degree in rondo; but here, again, Ave are 
frequently in contemplation of the commonplace, 
Avhilst the intervening orchestral snatches simply 
Avorry by their triviality. Nevertheless Ave cannot 
lose sight, in this movement, of some very delicate 
detail in the pianoforte part, Avhich has its due effect. 


We might also draw attention to the modulation 
from E major to E flat major, which is particularly 
exhilarating and fresh. But we are lingering some- 
what unduly, perhaps, on this work, and must pass 
on to the consideration of the Fantaisie and the 
F minor Concerto. 

The former of these is chiefly interesting as con- 
taining variations of some very characteristic Polish 
melodies. The introduction of them is sometimes 
more or less abrupt, and in treatment they are 
not subjected to the same amount of refinement of 
workmanship as we find, for instance, in one of his 
latest works, the Berceuse, where the form of varia- 
tion is much the same. On the other hand, what 
orchestration there is here, better fulfils its object 
than in other of his works, and although it cannot 
be said to possess any great artistic value, the work 
is decidedly interesting to the pianoforte player. 

In the F minor Concerto, the first thing that 
strikes us is the greater directness of purpose, which 
shows itself in the introduction. It is altogether less 
wandering and more compact, and is not in any way 
marred by its orchestral treatment. Indeed, the 


instrumentation is here concise and frequently taste- 
ful. The pianoforte passage-work, although demand- 
ing much in the way of technique from the performer, 
is much more effective, and repays to a much greater 
extent the labour expended upon it than that in the 
E minor work. The second subject is most beautiful, 
both in its natural and ornate states ; and the whole 
of the first movement more satisfying in every way. 
Exquisite, also, in its way, is the larghetto, with its 
recitative passages and delicate fioriture. Here we 
cannot refrain from singling out the following theme, 




u — 

which is of surpassing beauty, but which is only one of 
the many beauties to be found in this movement. It 
is far and away the most spiritual piece of work Chopin 
has given us in any of his compositions for piano and 
orchestra. The accompaniment of this phrase is for 


strings only sostenuto, the recitative following being 
accompanied by the strings tremolo, with the ex- 
ception of the basses, which are playing pizzicato. 
Of the finale it is impossible to speak in terms of 
unqualified praise, but whatever is lacking is more 
than compensated for by the lovely movement which 
we have just noticed. Finally, while we can only 
feel regret at the non-success of our artist in handling 
these more important forms of composition, yet to 
him in his endeavour to do so we must be thankful, 
if only because of his failure therein he was induced 
to abandon them, and to confine himself the more 
particularly to those smaller forms in which he has 
given us so much of the beautiful. 


Paris was in 1831, as it is to-day, one of the 
greatest art centres in the world. From the begin- 
ning of the century the influence of the Revolution 
on art had been making itself felt. The works of 
Shakespeare, Schiller, and Goethe opened out an 
entirely new field to the authors of the drama in 
France. In the art of poetry, side by side with 
Victor Hugo, Lamartine, Alfred de Musset, and 
Andre Chenier, there was still room for such as 
Alfred de Vigny and Pierre de Beranger; while in 
the sister art of painting were Delacroix, Delaroche, 
Ary Scheffer, and Gericault. With all these working 
for the cause of romanticism, the sister art of music 
could not but be influenced very considerably 
thereby, and one of the most direct and emphatic 
results of it was the creation by Hector Berlioz of the 

Symphonie Fantastique. Fortunately for the Rq- 


mantic school it had no half-hearted partisan in 
Hector Berlioz. He not only possessed all the 
qualities necessary to enable him to combat and 
overcome the many obstacles and trials which stand 
in the way of the innovator, but he possessed genius 
sufficient to force a considerable part of his public to 
admit that his music was capable without stage 
accessories, or assistance from words, of expressing 
not only definite emotions, but of bringing before 
them a picture very little less vivid than that to 
which they were accustomed in the theatre. From 
this time forward we can trace the development of 
the symphonic art in France. Hitherto, apart from 
a few works from such men as Cherubini, Mehul, 
and Le Sueur, the symphony had been almost totally 
neglected in that country. From the symphony in 
turn we can trace the birth and development of the 
French lyric drama, of which such brilliant examples 
have been given to the world by Georges Bizet, 
M. Charles Gounod, M. Massenet, M. Lalo, and M. 
Reyer, — musicians who have raised France to the 
head of all contemporary dramatic music. 

But to return to our period. The operatic com- 


posers then writing, such as Meyerbeer, Auber, Herold 
and Boieldieu, were fortunate enough to have as the 
exponents of their work such artists as Malibran, Pasta, 
Rubini, and Lablache. To Paris came artists from 
all parts of the world. There, and there only, was it 
possible for a reputation to be made, and the hall-mark 
of success secured. Therefore was Chopin fortunate 
in being associated with artists of pretensions and 
capacities not inferior to his own. 

He had come to Paris with letters of introduction to 
various publishers, and also to the composer Frederic 
Paer, who had written several successful works, the 
most prominent of which was Le Maitre de Chapelle, 
produced at the Opera Comique in 1821 with great 
success. By this means Chopin made the acquaint- 
ance of Cherubim, Rossini, and Kalkbrenner, and 
later we find him the central figure of a small coterie 
of artists gathered together at this time in the French 
capital. Amongst them we may mention Mendelssohn, 
Hiller, Liszt, and Franchomme the violoncellist. 

Hitherto, as we have seen, Chopin had outside 
of Paris achieved considerable success as a pianist, 
but Parisians were wont to look upon foreign 


critiques of matters musical as of little worth, and 
as he felt himself capable of improvement in this 
branch of his profession he decided to place him- 
self in the hands of Kalkbrenner, who at that 
time was looked upon as the foremost master in the 

In a letter to his friend Woyciechowski, he 
relates very minutely his visit to the famous 
pianist. He had recently heard him play, and waxes 
most enthusiastic over 'his enchanting touch, his 
repose and smoothness in playing.' On Chopin visit- 
ing him, Kalkbrenner naturally wished him to play. 
1 What was I to do ? ' says Chopin. ' As I had heard 
Herz, I plucked up courage and played my E minor 
Concerto.' Kalkbrenner was astonished, and straight- 
way asked the young musician if he was a pupil 
of Field, remarking, at the same time, that he had 
the style of Cramer, but the touch of Field. Says 
Chopin : — ' He proposed to teach me for three years, 
and to make a great artist of me, but I do not 
wish to be an imitation of him, and three years is 
too long a time for me. . . . After having watched 
me attentively, he came to the conclusion that I 



had no method; that although I was at present 
in a very fair way, I might easily go astray, and 
that when he ceased to play, there would no longer 
be a representative of the grand old pianoforte school 
left. I cannot create a new school, however much I 
may wish to do so, because I am not yet master of 
the old one, but I know that my tone-poems have 
some individuality in them, and that my object is 
always to advance.' Considerably perplexed by this 
interview with Kalkbrenner, Chopin sought advice 
from his old friend and master, Joseph Eisner, who 
was much astonished at the opinion pronounced by 
Kalkbrenner, and replied asking him why he should 
place himself under the pianist who would only 
destroy his originality, and who was, he considered, 
unable to teach Chopin anything in pianoforte playing. 
Besides, said Eisner, after all, pianoforte playing is not 
by any means the end of the art, and the achieve- 
ments of Mozart and Beethoven in this direction 
have long been overshadowed by their greater ac- 
complishments as composers. ' In a word,' he goes on, 
'that quality in an artist (who continually learns 
from what is around him), which excites the wonder 


of his contemporaries, can only arrive at perfection 
by and through himself. The cause of his fame, 
whether in the present or the future, is none other 
than his own gifted individuality manifested in his 
works.' In his reply to this letter, Chopin says: — 
' Although, as Kalkbrenner himself has admitted, 
three years' study is far too much, I would willingly 
make up my mind to even that length of time, were 
I sure that in the end I should attain my object. 
But one thing is quite clear to me, and that is, 
that I shall never be a mere replique of Kalk- 
brenner.' He then goes on to prove to his master 
how such men as Spohr and Ries were obliged 
to make their fame as masters of their respective 
instruments the stepping-stone to their fame as 

Eisner had put forth the assumption that Kalkbren- 
ner's desire to keep Chopin in the background for 
three years was actuated by jealousy, but it does not 
seem to us that such was the case, for the reason that 
the pianist's reputation was not one to be easily super- 
seded. Moreover, it was no more than natural that a 
master of the pianoforte such as he was, as regards 


technique, should be considerably taken aback by 
innovations in fingering, etc., made use of by Chopin, 
all which he would naturally regard as solecisms. 
Again, we know that it was the invariable rule of 
Kalkbrenner to accept no pupil for a less term than 
three years. Whether or not Chopin's friends were 
correct in saying that he played better than Kalk- 
brenner we are not prepared to say, but that Eisner 
was wrong in saying that he (Chopin) could learn 
nothing from him we do say, for the fusion of the 
ideas of two men, the antithesis in art of each other 
— such as these two were — cannot but be beneficial 
in its results to both. Eventually Chopin discon- 
tinued his visits, and took no more lessons from 
Kalkbrenner; nevertheless, he remained on friendly 
terms with the pianist, as is shown by the dedication 
to him of the E minor Concerto. 

In a letter, dated the 6th December 1831, we 
find Chopin announcing to his friend Titus his 
intention of giving a concert in Paris on the 25th 
of the same month. In the arrangements of this 
he was assisted by Kalkbrenner, Paer, and Norblin 
the violoncellist. These preliminaries were a source 


of great annoyance and difficulty to him, and 
for the carrying out of them such assistance was 
indispensable. The chief trouble seems to have 
been in finding a suitable vocalist. All the best 
were in the hands of the Operatic Directors, who 
refused to allow artists under engagement to them 
to assist, fearing that if they did so on this occasion 
they would be besieged on all quarters by similar 
requests. For this and other reasons the concert had 
to be postponed until the 15th January following, 
and even then it was not destined to take place, for 
Kalkbrenner's being suddenly taken ill necessitated a 
further postponement to the 26th February. In the 
end he was assisted by Baillot the violinist (the rival 
of Paganini), Brod, a celebrated oboe player, while 
the vocalists were Miles. Isambert, Tomeoni, and 
M. Boulanger. 

In a letter of Chopin's, about this date, he 
expresses his intention of playing at the concert 
the F minor Concerto and the Variations in B 
flat, and with Kalkbrenner, the latter's ' Marche 
suivie d'une Polonaise,' for two pianos, with accom- 
paniment for four others. ' On the other ones,' he 


says, ' which are as loud as any orchestra, Hiller, 
Osborne, Stamati, and Sowinski will play.' What- 
ever success may have attended this concert artisti- 
cally, it was financially a disastrous failure. Since 
his arrival in Paris Chopin had made his home and 
acquaintances mostly amongst the Polish refugees at 
that time in the city, and, as a natural consequence, 
they formed the largest section of his audience ; 
such musicians and fellow-artists as were present 
did not, of course, contribute towards the expenses. 
Nevertheless, it was the means of revealing to the 
musicians present (amongst whom was Felix Mendels- 
sohn) the great originality of Chopin. The critic, 
Francois Fetis, speaking of Chopin's music in a notice 
of this concert, said that he found in it ' an abund- 
ance of original idea of a type to be found nowhere 
else ' ; and also ' the indication of a renewal of forms 
which might in time exercise no small influence over 
his special branch of art ' : while he characterises his 
playing as ' elegant, easy, and graceful, and possessing 
great brilliance and neatness.' Therefore, although 
of no assistance to him financially, this concert did 
much to give him a reputation amongst those whose 


opinion was valuable, and who were, moreover, in a 
position to distribute it. 

From his letters at this time it can be seen that he 
was in no very cheerful frame of mind ; and a great 
longing to return to his own country would at times 
come over him. Outwardly he was bright enough, 
only unburdening himself of his real feelings to his 
friend Titus. Nevertheless even to him he would 
occasionally write cheerfully enough. For instance, 
in the postscript of one of these letters we have 
him joking over a little affaire a" amour with a 
pretty neighbour, Francilla Pixis by name, for whom 
he seems to have conceived a very violent passing 
fancy ; and, no doubt, the cheery side of his nature 
would have asserted itself strongly enough had his 
financial position been more satisfactory. He was 
determined not to be any burden to his parents, 
who, although in comfortable circumstances, were by 
no means wealthy. He found it impossible to get on 
in Paris at that time as quickly as he would have 
wished, in fact as was absolutely necessary he should 
do, and as a natural consequence began to look 
about him in order to see the best method of 


ameliorating his position. At length he resolved 
to join a party of his countrymen and to emigrate 
to America; and, ludicrous as it would seem, he 
would most assuredly have carried out this mad 
project, notwithstanding the earnest solicitation of 
his parents to the contrary. They were naturally 
anxious to prevent such a thing, knowing full well 
how little fitted for such a life he was. They 
urged him to return to Warsaw, and he had all 
but decided to fall in with their wishes, when 
he was prevented from doing so by one of those 
curious chances which often go so far to rule 
the lives of men. Shortly before his intended de- 
parture he happened to meet his friend Prince 
Kadziwill, to whom he confided his intention of 
leaving Paris. The prince had always been fond of 
Chopin, and greeted him warmly on this occasion. 
On hearing of his latest resolve he did not try to 
dissuade him from it directly; but knowing full 
well the state of things which had been instru- 
mental in bringing it about, he wisely and kindly 
thought of a practical means by which to prevent 
it, not by mere persuasion, but by showing the 


young musician that it was to his interest to 
remain. Accordingly he extracted from Chopin a 
promise to accompany him to a soiree which was 
to be given at the house of his friends, the Roth- 
schilds, on the following evening. To this he agreed. 
The result was that he played and delighted the 
whole company, and left the richer by several 
promises of pupils, and the high opinion of those 
who could be of substantial benefit to him. Mr. 
Frederick Niecks hazards a doubt as to the truth of 
this story. He says that neither Liszt, Hiller, nor 
Franchomme knew anything of it. Perhaps not ; in 
fact, we do not think it probable that Chopin would 
be likely to make a point of mentioning it, as one 
of his greatest characteristics was pride, and perhaps 
of all his faults, the most glaring was what would 
seem to be ingratitude, but what was very fre- 
quently nothing but thoughtlessness. Moreover, it 
was just the sort of thing to be expected from 
Prince Radziwill, and it further accounts in a very 
satisfactory manner for his remaining in Paris. 
However, be that as it may, from this time forward 
dates Chopin's success in society and as a teacher. 


We purpose, before closing this chapter, to take 
for consideration a group of compositions in which 
Chopin excelled, and showed the sentimental side of 
his genius to a greater extent perhaps than in any 
other, namely — the Nocturnes. There are eighteen 
tone-poems which we get under this head. Especially 
notable here are the unique fiorituri, an embellish- 
ment which Chopin handled marvellously when we 
consider how quickly it would nauseate in the hands 
of many composers. In fact, with him the differ- 
ence lay in that these, in his mind, were frequently 
not so much embellishments as part of the whole 
conception. We find in the catalogue of his works 
the following : Op. 9, three Nocturnes; Op. 15, three 
Nocturnes ; Op. 27, two Nocturnes ; Op. 32, two 
Nocturnes ; Op. 37, two Nocturnes ; Op ! _48^_Jwo 
Nocturnes ; Op. 55, two Nocturnes ; and likewise two 
more under Op. 62. Besides which there is a post- 
humous publication by Julius Fontana, numbered 
Op. 72, which contains, together with a Funeral 
March and three Ecossaises, a Nocturne in E minor. 
Of the Op. 9, Heinrich Rellstab, — editor of the Berlin 
musical journal Iris, and one of the most hostile 


of critics towards Chopin, — wrote that it closely 
resembled the Nocturnes of John Field as regards 
melody and manner of accompaniment. But either 
the critic was not happy in the expression of his 
meaning, or he showed a terrible lack of insight. 
If we grant that Chopin took the 'genus' from 
Field this is as far as we can possibly go; for any 
two composers between whom there is — as regards 
emotional expression — a wider gulf could not be 
found. In the Nocturne of Field we have pretty 
melody, but very shallow, and frequently the accom- 
paniments are commonplace and wearisome in the 
extreme. When Chopin took the ' Nocturne ' in 
hand he invested it with an elegance and depth of 
meaning which had never been given to it before. 
The No. 1 in B flat minor is especially remarkable 
for this, and is by turns voluptuous and dramatic; 
it was certainly not in the cold nature of Field to 
pen such bars as the sixteenth and seventeenth of 
this work. A couple of bars later there occurs 
a phrase, which we look upon as one of the 
most purely ' Chopinesque ' that the master ever 



We refer to :- 

Sotto voce 


I L 


Fi L 


As an example of pure, unaffected, and beautiful 
music he has never surpassed this phrase. Notice 
in the next bar how the sadness is intensified by 
the enharmonic change. Again, what could be more 
triste than the phrase in D flat, which occurs 
some thirty-four bars later, marked legatissimo ? 
After a return to the initial theme he brings the 
work to a close with the chord of the tonic 


major. The second of the same opus is so well- 
known as to render any comment needless. We 
only point out another instance of the composer's 
partiality to a succession of chords of the seventh 
(vide bar 12). It is aesthetically and psychologically 
inferior to its companions, and savours somewhat of 
affectation. The same might also be said, though 
perhaps in a lesser degree, of the third number. 
Of the 1st of Op. 15 in F major, the most remarkable 
portion is the con fuoco movement, which gains 
much by the contrast it forms Avith the andante 
cantabile. But in the following number in F sharp 
major, we have again one of the most important of 
the group. The ear is struck with the placid beauty 
of the opening phrase, and the fiorituri here are 
thrown about most lavishly. The scene is changed 
when we reach the doppio movimento, and dramatic 
energy holds sway for a time, after which the 
placidity of the first portion prevails until the close. 
The Nocturne in C sharp minor, the first of Op. 27, 
is perhaps the most dramatic of all. It opens with a 
yearning larghetto sotto voce, with a sex tuple t quaver 
accompaniment, mostly on a double pedal, and pro- 


ceeds calmly until the ninth bar is reached, when, 
instead of preceding the leading note and rising to 
the tonic as it did in the fifth bar, there is silence 
for a whole bar, the accompaniment only being heard, 
while the thread dropped is taken up in the follow- 
ing bar. Notice also in the thirteenth bar from the 
commencement the communicating effect of the D 
natural, which is especially accented. 

The very first bar of the pin mosso movement is 
ominous. And here we will call the reader's atten- 
tion to the wonderful effect obtained in these twenty 
bars, with the simplest of means. Let us for the 
moment look somewhat closely into them. The 
whole section we find to consist of the first four bars 
repeated alternately in the tonic and dominant keys, 
with the exception of the last four bars, which for 
our purpose we may call supplementary. If we 
look into the material of which this phrase of four 
bars is constructed, we shall find it to consist of 
merely the first and second inversions of the 
dominant seventh chord, resolved in each case on 
the tonic. By this means, it will be noticed, the 
bass progresses steadily upwards, and, by so doing, 


greatly heightens the effect. (When it reaches the 
B sharp octave above which it started it proceeds in 
octaves.) The last four bars of the section take us 
into the key of A flat major. Such are the means 
employed by Chopin to produce a most vivid tone 
picture. Higher art than this one could not have, 
if simplicity of means be a factor of high art. 
But we have dwelt somewhat unduly upon this 
work, and must hurry on. The second of this 
opus in D flat is one of the most frequently heard 
in our concert rooms. It abounds in much that is 
characteristic of his pianoforte music, such as the 
lavish use of sixths in the right hand and in- 
dulgence in fioriture, and if it has not the same 
depth of meaning as that which we have just dis- 
cussed, it is one of the most delicate and sweet 
of the Nocturnes, though it is more notable for the 
excessive elaboration of the detail than for the 
musical material of which it is composed. 

We now come to the first of the Op. 32. It is in the 
key of B major. After the minute elaboration of the 
last one, the simplicity here strikes us most forcibly. 

Notice in this Nocturne the sudden arrest of the 



melody in a manner somewhat similar to that in the 
C sharp minor one. It occurs at the sixth bar : — 



St ret to 

CTX-3 E 


and seems as if the composer wished to make us 
reflect for a moment, after which he leads us on to 
the close of the phrase by a cadence as delicious 
iis it is simple. Nothing now disturbs the even 
flow of the melody until we are nearing the end, 
when we meet with an interrupted cadence, fol- 
lowed by a recitative of some length, with which 
the work closes. The next in A flat major opens 
in a particularly simple and straightforward manner, 
and we find nothing to call for notice until we come 
to the second section in the relative minor, where 
we have the time changed to ^ 2 , and a succession 
of quaver chords Avhich grow more passionate and 
wailing when the octaves are reached at the ninth 
bar. The same section is then repeated in the key 


of F sharp minor, at the close of which we reach 
the initial theme in A flat, which forms the last 
portion of the work. In Op. 37 we get two Nocturnes 
of exceptional beauty — the first in G minor, and the 
second in G major. Notice the hymn-like plain 
chord progression of the middle section of No. 1, 
and the exceptional beauty of the melody in the first 
part, whilst the opening bars of the G major Noc- 
turne perhaps justify the title more than any we 
have yet met. The rocking, sensuous motion of the 
quaver figure in the bass, the succession of thirds 
and sixths in the right hand, and the numerous 
transitions through remote keys are the chief features 
of the work. The second section in the key of the 
sub-dominant reappears later on in that of the sub- 
mediant. It is a very lovely theme this, and if we 
look into it we find it is simplicity itself. I think 
a careful study of such Avorks of Chopin's as these 
Nocturnes will go far to do away with a very pre- 
valent notion that his musical thoughts were 
complicated ; on the contrary, we find here, as with 
many others of the masters of music, that the most 
beautiful are frequently the most simple. 



>f the two Nocturnes in C minor and C sharp 
minor which go to make up the Op. 48, it is not pos- 
sible to speak enthusiastically, as when they are not 
sickly they are laboured, especially so in the last 
movement doppio movimento of the first named, 
whilst the relief offered by the piu lento of the one 
in C sharp minor is not sufficient, and the section is 
in itself very fragmentary. We would poi nt out t he 
enharmonic modulation at bar eighteen and nine- 
teen of this section as perhaps one of the most 
happy thoughts in it. Things do not change much 
for the better until we reach No. 1 of Op. 62. The 
opening two bars are sufficiently original, and the 
melody which follows, although hardly one of the 
best, is inexpressibly sweet. A change is welcome 
at the sostenuto in A flat. This section ends on the 
E flat chord, the E flat being changed enharmonically 
to the third of the chord of B major, and the initial 
phrase presented to us in this key surrounded with 
all kinds of embellishment. Considerable harmonic 
cunning is evinced in this Nocturne, but the whole 
lacks that spontaneity which so distinguishes some 
of the earlier ones. 


Once having made up his mind to remain in Paris, 
Chopin soon became a prominent figure in society. 
Since the evening when he had played at the 
Rothschild soiree, he had been fortunate enough to 
secure several pupils, and as they increased so was 
his position financially benefited. The five years com- 
mencing from this time were perhaps the happiest 
and most brilliant of his life. He enjoyed in a great 
measure the delights of success and the satisfaction 
of having in some degree realised his ambitions. He 
was now frequently to be heard playing in public, 
and amongst the concerts at which he assisted at 
this time we may name one given by Hiller in 
December 1832, and also one in the following year 
given by the brothers Herz, besides numerous private 
functions at which he assisted. Let us for a moment 
consider Liszt's picture of the master at this period. 


He says : ' The ensemble of his person was harmoni- 
ous, and called for no special commentary. His blue 1 
eye was more spiritual than dreamy ; his bland smile 
never writhed into bitterness. The transparent deli- 
cacy of his complexion pleased the eye ; his fair hair 
was soft and silky, his nose slightly aquiline, his 
bearing so distinguished, and his manner stamped 
with so much of high breeding, that involuntarily he 
was always treated en prince. He was generally gay, 
his caustic spirit caught the ridiculous rapidly, and 
far below the surface at which it usually strikes the 
eye. His gaiety was so much the more piquant, 
because he always restrained it within the bounds 
of good taste, holding at a distance all that might 
tend to wound the most fastidious delicacy.' Also 
would we draw attention to what his friend Orlowski 
wrote of him. ' Chopin is full of health and vigour ; 
all the Frenchwomen dote upon him, and all the 
men are jealous of him. In a word, he is the 
fashion, and we shall, no doubt, shortly have gloves 
a la Chopin.' 

These comments from two men, who both were 

1 Here Liszt was wrong, as Chopin had brown eyes. 



intimates of Chopin, do not tend to convey that 
extreme femininity with which even this, per- 
haps the most energetic part of his life, has 
been coloured by some of his biographers. There 
is no doubt that his nature was more akin to the 
feminine than the masculine ; nevertheless, this 
characteristic has, in most cases, been considerably 
overdrawn and exaggerated. He, it must be remem- 
bered, suffered much, in common with his race, from 
political oppression ; and, also, that not only had he 
within him the seeds of an hereditary disease, but 
hitherto his financial position had not been such as 
to engender any unusual brightness of spirit. These 
things, acting together upon his extremely reserved 
nature, no doubt rendered him at times liable to be 
greatly misunderstood by any casual observer. But 
from what we know from his intimate friends, it is 
far from right to colour the master's life with the 
sombre and unrelieved tints with which it has so 
often been painted. Further proof we have from 
the companion of his youth, Johannes Matuszynski, 
who, having served as a surgeon-major in the Polish 
army and taken his doctor's degree, had just been 


appointed professor in the School of Medicine at 
Paris. Arrived there, he says, ' The first thing I did 
was to find out Chopin, and I cannot describe what 
great pleasure it gave us both to meet again after 
our separation of five years. He has grown so strong 
and tall that I scarcely knew him. Chopin is now 
the first of pianists in Paris ; he gives a great many 
lessons, at twenty francs each, and is altogether in 
great request. We live together here at the Rue 
Chausee d'Antin, No. 5.' 

Here we have direct testimony of the improve- 
ment in his physique, not only from an old friend, 
but from a physician. Although so much in request, 
Chopin was not in any way blinded by the eulogies 
lavished upon him by all and sundry. He well 
knew that many of his aristocratic acquaintances 
were entirely ignorant of the veriest rudiments of 
his art, and praised him solely because he happened 
to be the fashion. Writing to a friend, he says, 'I 
move in the highest society. I take my place amidst 
ambassadors, princes, ministers ; and I have not the 
least notion how I got there, for it was no doing of 
mine. Nevertheless, I find all this at present ab- 


solutely necessary, for one is credited with so much 
more talent when one has received the applause of 
the English or Austrian Ambassador, and there is 
so much more finesse about one's playing if one 
happens to secure the patronage of the Princess 
Vaudemont.' Severe ; but surely true, and it is 
well he had sufficient strength of mind to recognise 
it, and nothing shows us how thorough an artist 
Chopin was more than what he says later on in 
the same letter : ' Really, if I happened to be a 
little more silly than I am, I might almost be led 
to imagine myself a finished artist. As it is, I only 
feel how much I have still to learn, and recognise 
it the more when, having daily intercourse, as I have, 
with all the first artists here, I recognise how much 
even they lack.' 

His great rival, and the one musician against 
whom he was being continually pitted, was John 
Field. Yet Chopin not only possessed all the gifts 
of Field, but supplied those in which the latter 
was found wanting. As Moscheles said of Field : — 
His playing lacked spirit and accent, light and shade, 
and depth of feeling. All these Chopin supplied in 


an extraordinary degree, and in tliem he excelled. 
In composition, the older master only furnished us 
with a hint of what we were to receive from Chopin, 
and this is so very slight that we cannot in any way 
look upon him as the forerunner of Chopin's style. 
He was as distinct from it as any other musician. 
The Nocturnes he wrote were not even shadows of 
Chopin's Nocturnes, beside which they might easily 
be called vulgar, as compared with those of the 
Polish master. John Field, on his part, no doubt 
saw in Chopin only a formidable rival, very likely to 
ruin the lustre of his own glory; at all events, he 
tried to dismiss Chopin lightly, by saying that he 
possessed only un talent de chambre de malade. 
Such a statement was not for one moment worth 
serious consideration ; nevertheless, Chopin's com- 
positions at this time met with serious opposition 
on the part of several of the musical critics. His 
greatest enemy in this respect was Kellstab, critic 
of the Iris, who, for instance, in writing a notice of 
one of the Mazurkas, said of Chopin: — 'He is in- 
defatigable, I might almost say inexhaustible, in his 
search for ear-splitting discords, forced transitions, 


harsh modulations, horrible distortions of melody 
and rhythm. Everything is done to produce the 
effect of peculiar originality, by such means as out- 
of-the-way keys, and chords in unnatural positions.' 
Finally he says: — 'Had M. Chopin shown this com- 
position to a master, the latter would, there is no 
doubt, have torn it up and thrown it at his feet, 
which we hereby do symbolically for him.' 

The only comparison this unenlightened creature 
draws between Chopin and Field we quote for what 
it is worth : — 'Where Field smiles, Chopin makes a 
grimace ; where Field sighs, Chopin groans ; where 
Field shrugs his shoulders, Chopin twists his whole 
body. ... In short, if one holds Field's charming 
romances before a distorting concave mirror, so that 
every delicate expression becomes coarse, one gets 
Chopin's music. . . . We beg of M. Chopin to return 
to nature.' Anent this, Mr. Niecks quotes a letter 
which was supposed to have been written by Chopin 
. — when irate at this abuse — to the critic himself. 
Mr. Niecks, however, states that he does not vouch 
for its authenticity; nevertheless, parts of it will 
no doubt interest the reader. The commencement 


is noteworthy. It says : — ' You are really a very bad 
man, and not worthy that God's earth either knows 
or bears you. The King of Music should have 
imprisoned you in a fortress ; in that case he would 
have removed from the world a rebel, a disturber of 
the peace, and an infamous enemy of humanity who 
probably will yet be choked in his own blood.' And 
even more vehement is the concluding phrase. 
' Another bad, bad trick, and you are done for ! Do 
you understand me, you little man, you loveless and 
partial dog of a critic, you musical snarler, you 
Berlin wit- cracker ? ' 

It cannot be said that Kellstab was alone in 
giving vent to adverse criticism of Chopin's works, 
for Moscheles, himself a thorough musician, disliked 
what he called the ' artificial and forced modula- 
tions ' which he met with in them ; and Mendels- 
sohn did not give them unqualified praise, as 
he held that Chopin aimed too often at 'sensa- 
tionalism,' and disregarded true musical feeling. 
But seeing that there could hardly have been two 
musicians more antithetical of each other than 
were Chopin and Mendelssohn, what one would take 


to be ' true ' in regard to music, the other in many 
cases would not. Therefore we may assume that 
Mendelssohn was merely not in sympathy with 
Chopin's genius, rather than that he took any de- 
termined stand against it. 

In the spring of this year, 1834, Chopin, in com- 
pany with Hiller, paid a short visit to Aix-la- 
Chapelle on the occasion of the Lower Rhenish 
Musical Festival, which was held there at Whitsun- 
tide. Amongst others there they met Mendelssohn, 
the three musicians witnessing the Festival together, 
and seeing much of each other. Mendelssohn 
was at this time occupying the post of Musical 
Director at Diisseldorf, whither, after the Festival, 
Chopin and Hiller accompanied him, and spent a 
day in the town pleasantly enough. They were 
asked to spend the evening — as they were to start 
for Coblenz on the morrow — at the house of F. W. 
Schadow, the Director of the Academy of Art at 
Diisseldorf. Writing of this, Hiller says : — ' For the 
evening we were invited to Schadow's, who was 
always hospitable, and where we found some of the 
most eminent of rising young artists. The con versa- 


tion soon became lively, and all would have been 
well had not poor Chopin sat so silent and unnoticed. 
However, both Mendelssohn and I knew that he 
would have his revenge, and were secretly rejoic- 
ing thereat. At last the piano was opened. I 
began, Mendelssohn followed, and then Chopin was 
asked to play, rather doubtful looks being cast at 
him and us. But he had scarcely played a few 
bars, when every one present, especially Schadow, 
assumed a very different attitude towards him. 
They had never heard anything like it, and all 
were in the greatest delight, and begged for more 
and more. Count Ahnaviva had dropped his dis- 
guise, and all were speechless.' 

After Chopin's return to Paris Ave find him assist- 
ing at the last of a series of concerts given in the 
Conservatoire by Hector Berlioz, where he played the 
middle movement of the Concerto in F minor. Later 
in the same year we have him assisting Dr. Stoepel, 
an author of several works of music and on musical 
subjects, at a matinee ; and in March 1835 Chopin 
played at a concert given by Pleyel, his fellow-artists 
being Herz, Osborne, Hiller, and Eeicha. 


In the early part of this same year, about April, he 
gave a concert for the benefit of the Polish refugees 
in Paris, at which Habeneck conducted, and Chopin 
played the E minor Concerto, and Hiller's duet for 
two pianos with Liszt, but the result was not wholly 
successful so far as either Chopin or the Concerto 
was concerned. Both the audience and the place 
were large, neither condition favourable to Chopin. 
He never played well under such circumstances ; 
the public en masse intimidated him, and took from 
him that subtle power which so charmed when 
he played to an intimate circle of acquaintances. 
He himself said to Liszt : — ' I am not at all fit for 
giving concerts; the crowd intimidates me; its breath 
suffocates me; I feel paralysed by its strange look, 
and the sea of unknown faces makes me dumb.' 

At this time, foremost amongst Chopin's friends 
in Paris, was the Italian composer, Vincent Bellini, 
for whom he had a great friendship, and with 
whose music he was much in sympathy. Indeed, 
Bellini's influence upon Chopin can be clearly 
traced in some of his music, and we shall have 
occasion to refer to it in speaking of his songs. 


Of the Italian master's work, / Puritani, which was 
in this year produced at the Opera, and Norma, were 
especial favourites with Chopin. In spite of his 
many engagements, social and otherwise, as well as 
his pupils, who took a great portion of his time, 
Chopin was most assiduous in his devotion to com- 
position. Amongst_thfi_ works finished during his 
first year in Paris were the Nocturnes, the Etudes, 
Op. 10 and 25; the Bolero, Op. 19; the Scherzo, 
Op. 20 ; Ballade, Op. 23 ; besides some Mazurkas 
and Impromptus. It will suffice if, as well as taking 
one group for notice here, we consider such isolated 
pieces as the Bolero, and Polonaise, Op. 22. The 
Bolero, Op. 19, is one of the least interesting of his 
compositions. It has little or nothing beyond its 
outward form to substantiate its title, and even had 
it been written after instead of before the composer's 
sojourn in the South, it would probably have still 
lacked local colour. The allegro vivace has the form 
and figure of the Bolero, but that is all ; the spirit of 
the dance is not there. Consequently the piece is 
laboured and unsatisfactory. 

We now turn to the Grande Polonaise, Op. 22, for 


piano and orchestra. The Polonaise proper is 
preceded by an Andante Spianato, and is not worthy 
to stand beside the Polonaise for pianoforte alone. 
Neither can the Andante be said to be wholly 
satisfactory, and whether it was really composed 
with the intention of its preceding the Bravura 
movement seems doubtful. At all events the one 
has nothing whatever to connect it with the other, 
musically speaking. The melody of the first move- 
ment strikes us as closely resembling that of the 
Prelude No. 15. The key of the Andante is G major, 
while the polonaise itself is in E flat, and it is in the 
connecting modulatory portion that we have one 
of the noisiest and least artistic pieces of work to 
be found in any of Chopin's compositions. The 
Andante having ended with the tonic chord, the 
orchestra enters in order to effect the modulation to 
the new key. The note G in the following marked 
rhythm of the Polonaise is given to the E flat horn 


., - — m-m-m— m- -• -d — « — 
■w *-*-*- -• ^ ^ * 

in octaves, and is followed by a succession of chro- 


matic chords on a pedal point for two bars, 
which are chiefly sustained by the wood, wind, 
and strings. After this a desperate struggle takes 
place, and lands us quite breathless on the dominant 
seventh of the E flat key. This chord we then have 
in its various inversions, and we are taken to be all 
ready for the entry of the pianoforte with the initial 
figure of the Polonaise. It is difficult, indeed, to 
comprehend how a musician, usually so careful and 
even original in such matters, could have allowed 
such a passage to escape him. But, alas ! even now 
that we have emerged from this chaos, it is only to be 
confronted with a phrase which might have been 
constructed for some showy and tricky fiddler to 
beguile his unoffending and long-suffering audience 
with. But to do the composer justice, we are bound 
to say that he put forward this composition simply 
for what it was worth as a showy salon piece. 

It is with relief that we turn to the contemplation 
of such vastly different works as are contained in the 
next group which we have selected, the four works 
which we get under the title of Scherzo affording us 
little that is not beautiful and original. 


Applied to individual instrumental pieces, the 
Scherzo is synonymous of the capriccio, which must 
not be confounded with the caprice ; the term 
originally applied to a movement in which a 
particular musical subject is handled in every con- 
ceivable manner by its composer. The Scherzo or 
Capriccio was a form greatly affected by Mendelssohn, 
whose light and airy muse it suited admirably. 
It gradually, in the hands of Beethoven, took the 
place in the Sonata form of the Minuet. But like 
other forms in which Chopin chose to express his 
musical thoughts, it underwent in his hands 
idealisation, — assumed an aspect of individual im- 
portance. From him we get four important works 
under this title. The Op. 20 in B minor, dedicated 
to M. Albrecht ; the Op. 31 in B flat minor, to Mile, 
de Furstenstein ; the Op. 39 in C sharp minor, to his 
friend and pupil Adolph Gutmann ; and the fourth 
Op. 54 in E minor, to Mile, de Caraman. Of the 
first in B minor we are struck by the opening 
chords. Surely, we say, this is not the commence- 
ment of a Scherzo ! Certainly not to such a 
movement as Mendelssohn has accustomed us to 



under the name. Even the following measures 
express 'fury' rather than that of capriciousness. 
After a while the vigour of the rushing quaver 
figure becomes gradually less, until we come to the 
repeat. The middle movement in the tonic major 
has a melody in the inner part, surmounted by 
an inverted dominant pedal. The effect gained 
does not, to my mind, compensate for the excessive 
use of it. It is inexpressibly sweet for a few bars, 
but after that one experiences a sickly sensation. 
Neither is the melody characterised by the amount 
of finesse and refinement of handling we usually find 
and are accustomed to look for, the close on the 
dominant and return to the tonic in bars seven 
and eight of the molto piu lento movement 
verging on the commonplace. After this we get 
nothing very new, and the work closes with a rush 
of chromatics in unison. It is not by any means 
one of his best efforts, seeming to be wanting in 
parts in melody and clearness, though it is un- 
doubtedly brilliant. 

No. 2 in B flat minor is a work far more 
concise and highly finished than that which we 


have just discussed. It seems to open with two 
distinct questions and answers, after the repeti- 
tion of which, and a few bars of descending 
and ascending quaver figures alternately, ff. and 
pp., we come to the principal theme, which com- 
mences on the harmony of the dominant seventh, 
and is marked con anima. It now literally soars 
up the scale; we are carried irresistibly along, 
the melody becoming more and more impassioned, 
yet over all is that indefinable longing which it is 
impossible to express in words. Once more the 
question and its answer, — again a question, this 
time a more emphatic reply mark the quintuplet 
of crotchets, which a few bars further on we have 
as a quadruplet. Once more the connecting quaver 
phrases, and we are into the sublime melody again 
emphasised the more by the lovely theme in C 
sharp minor, by which it is followed, — a supplicating 
theme as of a lover pleading at the feet of his 
mistress. Now listen how coquettishly she replies, 
how lightly she treats his avowal. Once more he 
pleads in the same strain, even more coquettishly 
does she answer. Now they are speaking rapidly 


together, she with the clearness of stern resolve, he 
with the agitation of passionate uncertainty. Now 
she actually laughs in his face, such scornful 

laughter . But we are wandering far a-field ; 

would that we could follow him into the world of 
fancy and romance, the road to which he knew so well. 

Such, however, is not our province, and we hasten 
to return to the calmer contemplation of the many 
beauties expressed in the music. After the light 
and delicate arpeggi a return is made in turn to 
the theme already heard, the work ending with the 
principal melody more expansively treated than 
before. Note the glorious effect of the transition 
through the key of F major in the last bars. 

The No. 3, Op. 39 (composed during Chopin's 
sojourn in Majorca) perhaps justifies its title to a 
greater extent than its companions. It is certainly 
' fitful/ if not exactly capricious. The contrast 
between the first part of the work with its 
staccato, and the following portion, which is 
almost of the character of a chorale, is effective. 
The chorale may be said to commence at the meno 
mosso, and to consist of sixteen bars ; it is divided 


into four sections, and after each, and dividing one 
section from another, are four bars of quavers, 
arpeggios, lightly descending the scale from in 
altissimo. Gounod has employed a similar effect 
as regards the splitting up of the chorale in his 
church-scene in Faust] but in his case, after the 
broad sostenuto chords, he, instead of starting from 
the high pitch and descending, takes the note an 
octave below the last chord of the chorale, and 
builds upon it semiquavers in triplets, maintaining 
the same pitch throughout the bar. But this is 
only a difference of detail; the procedure is prac- 
tically similar. The figure above mentioned and 
the staccato theme form the basis of this number. 

The general atmosphere of the fourth and last 
of the Scherzos is much softer, and, if we may say 
so, more ' balmy ' than in the preceding ones. There 
is a delicacy of subject and treatment alike, which 
does not exist in the others. The chief fault seems 
to lie in its inordinate length. Worthy of remark, 
perhaps, is the resemblance in tone of this Scherzo 
to the Ballade No. 3, Op. 47, though the similitude 
lies more in the musical thought than in its treat- 



ment. For example, a frequently recurring phrase 
in the Scherzo is : — 

i — 

— 1~ 

l ^tf- 

while in the Ballade we find this : — 


Particularly worthy of notice is the harmonic pro- 
gression which immediately follows the passage just 
quoted. Candidly speaking, I find this number more 
valuable for its exquisite treatment of detail than 
for its absolute originality of idea, although I am 
tempted to modify this statement on coming to the 
piii lento. Here beauty reigns supreme, not for one 
moment allowing our attention to be centred on 
aught else but itself. On the return to the tempo, 


I notice the fine effect attained by the opening 
phrase, accompanied by the double pedal, of which 
the dominant alternates with the note above as an 
auxiliary. Before closing our remarks upon this 
work, we wish to draw attention to the phrase of 
four bars immediately after the re-entry to the A 
flat key. It is certainly a modification of the open- 
ing phrase, but how much more mournful ! Could 
anything be more suggestive of misery ? Mark ! we 
are discussing a 'Scherzo.' How wonderful is it, 
then, that we find the same theme in one of the 
latest masterpieces of modern music, and that master- 
piece the Kequiem Mass, Op. 89, of Antonin Dvorak ! 
This identical theme we find in the opening bar of 
his work, and its use as a motif, expressive of the 
deepest sorrow, is continuous throughout. We men- 
tion this not merely as a thematic coincidence, but as 
a proof of how little the title of 'Scherzo' conveys 
the wonderful contrast of emotional power expressed 
in these tone-pictures. Also specially noticeable here 
is the masterly way in which we find Chopin handles 
his rhythm, which, although often unconventional, is 
never unsymrnetrical. 


Although of a peculiarly impressionable and sus- 
ceptible disposition, and, as a not unnatural con- 
sequence, more or less fickle where women were 
concerned, Chopin's love affairs did, on more than 
one occasion, assume a serious aspect. We have 
already touched upon the episode of his early at- 
tachment to Constantia Gladkowska, to whom he 
referred in his letters as his ' Ideal.' But in his later 
letters to his friend Titus Woyciechowski, we find 
little or no mention of the lady. "What was the im- 
mediate reason of this falling off in his ardour we do 
not know. Perhaps it was that he had learnt that 
his divinity had thoughts to bestow upon others than 
himself; and, if such were the case, it was quite 
sufficient in itself to account for the diminution of 
his affection for her. Such was his nature. It 
would have been utterly foreign to him to love for 
any length of time where he was not loved in return. 


The slightest feeling not responded to chilled him 
at once. However, in 1832, Constantia Gladkowska 
married at Warsaw a merchant, Joseph Grabowski by 
name, whether for mercenary reasons or not we do 
not know ; sufficient for us, that she forsook the less 
fortunate Frederic. Whether the wound thus in- 
flicted was a deep one or not is also a matter upon 
which we can only conjecture ; at all events, he had 
by now sufficiently recovered from its effects to find 
a fresh ' Ideal.' If we are guided to any extent by 
Madame Sand, we shall certainly not credit him with 
having any great depth of feeling or constancy ; but 
before allowing ourselves to be influenced by her, we 
must always consider her proneness to exaggeration, 
and, moreover, her desire to depict Chopin in a light 
as unfavourable as possible As illustrative of his 
fickleness, she relates the following story, which she 
asserts was told her by Chopin himself: — 'He had 
conceived a fancy for the grand-daughter of a cele- 
brated master, and, although contemplating matri- 
mony with her, he had at the same time in his 
mind's eye another lady, resident in Poland ; his 
loyalty being engaged nowhere, and his fickle heart 


concentrated on no one passion. One day, when 
visiting the former young lady in company with a 
musician, who was at the time better known in Paris 
than he himself, she unconsciously offered a chair to 
his companion first. So piqued was he at what he 
considered this slight, that he not only never called 
upon her again, but dismissed her entirely from his 
thoughts/ Were this story told by George Sand 
alone, we should, for the reasons above quoted, think 
twice before accepting it unreservedly ; but it is cor- 
roborated by other and indisputable authorities, who 
could have no object in enlarging upon it, and we 
can only accept it as showing how really fickle was 
his disposition, and how small a thing it needed to 
waft him one way or the other. In the love affair 
with which we have now to deal, he found his ' Ideal ' 
in the person of Maria Wodzinska. For particulars 
of it I have gone to Count Wodzinski's x Trois 
Romans de Chopin, which deals, as its title infers, 
almost entirely with the romantic episodes of his life. 
He tells us that the first meeting between Chopin 

1 In Polish family names ending with 'i,' the termination be- 
comes * a ' when the name is applied to women. 


and this lady took place during their childhood, he 
being ten and she five years of age. Maria was fre- 
quently at Nicholas Chopin's house with her mother, 
as her brothers were at that time residing with the 
Chopins. Thus an acquaintance sprung up, and 
Frederic, who was a frequent visitor at Sluzewo (the 
father's property), became an intimate friend of the 
family. It was, says the author of Les Trois Romans, 
these recollections alone which caused this new affec- 
tion to spring up within him. After the Polish 
Revolution of 1830, the Wodzinskis moved to 
Geneva. There they remained until the year 1835, 
when they returned to Poland, breaking their journey 
at Dresden. Meanwhile Anthony Wodzinski, being 
in Paris, had kept Chopin well informed as to his 
family's movements. 

In this same year, Nicholas Chopin was or- 
dered by the doctors in Warsaw to take the 
waters at Carlsbad, and, as it was nearly five 
years since he had seen his father, Frederic de- 
termined to journey as far as that town and meet 
him. This he did, and, as it turned out, it was their 
last meeting. Having duly informed his father of 


his intentions with regard to Maria, he left for 
Dresden, where the Wodzinskis were staying. The 
young lady was now nineteen years of age, and is 
described as being of a tall, graceful figure, and 
having features which, although remarkable for 
neither regularity nor classic beauty, had an in- 
definite charm. Her magnificent hair, we read, was 
silky, and black as ebony, her nose being somewhat 
pronounced, and her whole face highly intelligent. 
For a month the two now met constantly at the 
house of her uncle, the Palatine Wodzinski, making 
music together, and passing the evenings in one 
another's company. Chopin, whilst now once again 
a victim to the tender passion, composed the Waltz 
(No. 1 of Op. 69), the ms. — a copy of which appears 
in Count Wodzinski's book — bearing in the right- 
hand corner the words, ' Pour Mile. Marie,' and the 
subscription, 'F. Chopin, Dresden, September 1835/ 
Up to now Chopin had made no direct avowal, and 
did not do so until they met again in the course of 
the following summer at Marienbad. 

As to the lady's reply to his proposal, his several 
biographers are once more at variance. Karasowski re- 


latcs that c Chopin soon discovered that Maria recipro- 
cated his affection, and that they were formally engaged 
with the consent and approval of their relatives'; 
whilst, on the other hand, the author of Les Trois 
Romans tells us that her reply was to the effect that 
she could not act in opposition to her parents' wishes, 
Avhich she could not hope to alter, but that she 
would always preserve for him in her heart a grateful 
remembrance.' This reply is characteristic, and bears 
the impress of truth, inasmuch as it is but a slight 
variation of that so often resorted to by the fair sex 
under similar circumstances, when they express a 
desire to be allowed to act the part of a sister 
towards the unfortunate suitor. But of these two 
contradictory statements we are inclined to take this 
latter as the correct one, for, besides being a relative 
of the lady, Count Wodzinski asserts that at a later 
period of her life she herself told him of her reply 
to Chopin's proposal. The only way, therefore, in 
which it could be unreliable would be in the event 
of Miss Maria wishing to do away with any impres- 
sion which might exist that she had engaged herself 
to and finally jilted her lover. She may have felt 


that her action in marrying during the following 
year a son of Chopin's godfather, Count Frederic 
Skarbek, had given rise to such an assumption. 
But even if that were so, we can only give her 
the benefit of the doubt. Moreover, supposing 
she did behave thoughtlessly, — if not heartlessly, — 
she was sufficiently punished by the result of 
her marriage, which was a most unhappy one, and 
had finally to be dissolved. 

Not less unreliable is the statement of Kara- 
sowski, that Chopin intended to marry and with- 
draw himself from the world, and to settle near 
his family in Warsaw, and there to establish a 
school for the people; while he, without troubling 
himself about the public, quietly pursued his 
art. Apart from the unlikelihood of his selecting 
such a life, how could he have contemplated such 
a course on what we know were his resources at 
this time ? Assuredly, so long as he remained in 
Paris, he could by teaching make a good income ; 
but he had been so short a time even in this 
position, that it was quite impossible he could have 
saved sufficient to enable him to support his wife 


and himself, not to mention any indulgence in 
philanthropic schemes. We can only assume that 
his biographer means that his wife would bring him 
a fortune. But here, again, he is in error, for al- 
though of an aristocratic and wealthy family, she 
was not to become possessed of her fortune until 
after the death of her parents. 

On leaving Marienbad, Chopin once more turned 
his steps towards Leipzig. Of his meeting here with 
Robert Schumann we have direct testimony in the 
form of a letter from the latter musician to Heinrich 
Dorn, in which he says : — c The day before yesterday, 
just after I had received your letter, and was about 
to answer it, who should enter ? Chopin. This was 
to me a great pleasure. We passed a very happy 
day together, in honour of which I made yesterday 
a holiday. . . . He played, in addition to a number of 
Etudes, several Nocturnes and Mazurkas — everything 
incomparable. You would like him immensely.' 
Here, also, is direct evidence of the very high opinion 
held by Schumann, not only of Chopin himself, but 
of his works. 

Having thus pleasantly broken the journey at 


Leipzig, Chopin continued his way homeward via 
Heidelberg. This brings us to the end of the 
year 1836. The year following was to be one 
of great moment for Chopin, for in it occurred 
the episode which has done much to colour his 
life from this time. We refer to his meeting with 
George Sand. With this important event it is our 
intention to deal in the next chapter, but in the 
meantime it will, perhaps, be of interest if we. form 
a preliminary acquaintance with the heroine of what 
has been termed the greatest ' romance ' of Chopin's 
life. Madame Sand, — we should say Mademoiselle 
Aurore Dupin, — was born some five years earlier than 
Frederic Chopin. Her father, Maurice Dupin — an 
officer in the army, and the grandson of the Mare- 
chal de Saxe — had fallen in love with, and finally 
married, the daughter of a Parisian bird-seller, by 
name Sophie Delaborde. That the mother of 
Maurice Dupin was opposed to the match does not 
surprise us, when we consider the difference in 
social status existing between the contracting parties. 
Nevertheless, the old lady's prejudices were in some 
degree overcome, when, on the birth of their daughter, 


M. and Madame Dupin placed their offspring under 
the care of its grandmother. Four years later 
Maurice Dupin died at his mother's country seat — 
Nohant. The infant daughter now became the cause 
of increased wrangling between its mother and 
grandmother, who, it may be imagined, had never 
been on any terms of marked friendliness. At the 
age of thirteen Aurore was sent to a convent, 
where she appears to have earned for herself the 
character of ringleader where any kind of mischief 
was concerned. But her precocity in this un- 
desirable direction did not last long; for, proceed- 
ing to the other extreme, she became nothing 
short of a victim to religious mania, and seriously 
(if we can regard her intentions then as in any 
way deserving of that title) thought of taking the 
veil, and devoting herself to a life of religious 
seclusion. This, however, by the intervention of her 
half-brother, was prevented, not so much by force 
of persuasion on his part, as by initiating the young 
lady in such healthy exercises and pleasures as the 
country house at Nohant naturally afforded. At 
seventeen years of age, be it said to her credit, she 



began to awaken to the fact that it was time she 
set about the improvement of those mental qualities 
which she possessed — as was afterwards proved — in 
so great a degree. 

Thomas a Kempis's Imitation of Christ, to which 
she had hitherto gone for religious sustenance, was 
no longer sufficient for the accomplishment of her 
more ambitious and more worldly desires. Therefore 
we find her devoting her attention to the works of 
such writers as Chateaubriand, Bacon, Milton, and 
Shakespeare. This, undoubtedly, had its effect. 
Through the death of her grandmother, she now 
inherited a considerable fortune, and had she been 
willing to desert her mother for the aristocratic 
relations of her father, they would, no doubt, have 
been willing to accord her their patronage and pro- 
tection. But this she would not do. She was now 
eighteen years of age, and young as she was, she 
married Casimir Dudevant, a young man some nine 
years her senior, who, after serving in the army as 
a lieutenant, had relinquished his military career in 
quest of forensic honours. 

Young as they were, their marriage does not 


seem to have been one of even ordinary romantic 
surroundings. On the contrary, it would seem 
to have had for its basis ' a lasting friendship/ 
for the novelist herself tells us that her would- 
be husband spoke little to her of love ; being 
nothing if not matter-of-fact. The result cannot 
be said to have been satisfactory. The ' friend- 
ship ' on which they had so depended for their happi- 
ness was not, at all events, sufficiently strong to 
compensate for the differences in their respective 
temperaments. Moreover, her brother Hippolyte 
made matters considerably worse for her, for in 
addition to so mismanaging her business affairs as to 
leave her almost without means of any kind, he led 
the husband into intemperate habits, and so widened 
the breach already existing between them as to 
render a separation absolutely necessary. Thus it 
is that we find Madame Dudevant on her own ac- 
count in Paris, endeavouring in literature to find a 
means of support. 

The conditions of her separation were, that in 
addition to her daughter, Solange, being allowed 
to pass three months in the year with her, she 


was to receive from her husband an allowance 
of 250 francs per month. On this she established 
herself in three rooms in a Mansarde on the Quai 
Saint Michel, doing most of the household work 
herself. Her literary career began from this time ; 
and she devoted herself entirely to the study of 
man and his manners. Her first work, Rose et 
Blanche, produced in 1831, was so great a success that 
she was commissioned by the publishers to follow it 
up with another. The first novel had been written 
in collaboration with Jules Sandeau, but the second, 
Indiana, was her own work entirely. We must 
not omit to mention that, as a result of this col- 
laboration, the initial book was published under the 
nom de plume of Jules Sand. Consequently on its 
success, she was desirous of adhering to this name ; 
but as Jules Sandeau had had no part in the second 
work, he objected. The publishers were naturally 
anxious to retain the name, and finally a compromise 
was suggested by them ; this was, that she should 
alter the name to Georges Sand. To this name she 
adhered, and, as we know, made it famous through- 
out the civilised world. 


Her financial position was now considerably amelior 
ated. The two novels, although not bringing her any 
very large sum, realised the useful amount of £120. 
Her literary career from this time was one of steady 
progress. In the year following the publication of 
Indiana, she made the acquaintance of Alfred de 

Of the liaison which was the outcome of this 
acquaintance it is not within our province here 
to speak, further than the recording of it. Dur- 
ing this time the disagreements between Mme. 
Dudevant and her husband in no wise dimin- 
ished, she complaining chiefly on the score that 
her financial position was inadequate. In her favour, 
it must be remembered, that her husband had, from 
the beginning, lived upon her, his only expectations 
being, that he would receive money on the death of 
his stepmother. Frequent arrangements were made 
between them, only to be broken, and in the end Mme. 
Dudevant applied for a judicial separation, which the 
court duly granted to her. Her husband appealed, 
but withdrew before judgment was given. As is in- 
variably the case in these matters, there is much to 


be said on both sides, but however lenient we may be 
disposed to be towards the woman who so worthily 
added to the literary art of her country, one cannot 
deny the fact that she was of a nature the reverse of 
admirable, — a woman who, while stopping at nothing" 
in the gratification of her desires, yet was ever ready 
with an excuse for herself, and who posed before 
the world as an example of all that was good and 
upright in womanhood. Moreover, she seems to have 
been wanting alike in tact, reserve, and dignity of con- 
duct; while by no means the least noticeable feature in 
her character was the manner in which she succeeded 
in deceiving even herself. 

But as we have now sufficiently fulfilled our object, 
which has been, by giving the reader some idea of her 
parentage and surroundings, to aid him in forming 
some slight idea of the woman with whom so much 
of Chopin's life, from this time forth, was spent, we 
may continue our perusal of the master's works. 

The group upon which we shall now direct our 
attention is that which contains four composi- 
tions under the title of ' Ballades.' These are seve- 
rally, the Op. 23 in G minor, dedicated to Baron 



Stockhausen, and published in June 1836 ; Op. 38 
in F minor, dedicated to Robert Schumann, and 
published in 1840 ; Op. 47 in A flat major, dedicated 
to Mile, de Noailles, published in 1841, and Op. 52 in 
F major, dedicated to the Baroness de Rothschild, 
and published in 1843. These four compositions, the 
form and title of which, Schumann tells us, were 
originally inspired by the poems of the Polish bard 
Mickiewicz, represent the most masterly and powerful 
efforts of Chopin's genius. The first, in G minor, opens 
with seven introductory bars in common time, more 
or less forming an opening recitative. About the last 
chord of this introduction there has been consider- 
able controversy. 

In some editions it is terminated, as in the accom- 
panying example, with a dissonant E flat.* This, 

according to the testimony of his pupils Gutmann 


and Mikuli, is what Chopin intended. On the other 
hand, Klindworth, although adhering to it in his 
edition, explained that he found it in an English 
edition, and that his only reason for retaining it was, 
that he liked the effect. Xaver Scharwenka, who 
revised the Klindworth edition for Messrs. Augener, 
states, in a footnote, that, as there is no doubt that 
D was the note intended, he has thus altered it. 
But while we cannot but accept the testimony of the 
two pupils named above, the effect of the E flat as 
written is so harsh, that we infinitely prefer the 
passage as Scharwenka has altered it. Nevertheless, 
we cannot help feeling that what Chopin really 
intended was, so far as concerns the E flat in the 
chord, an effect similar to that in the following cad- 
ence, which we get twenty-eight bars later. 







£ j£ s: <•:*+*£ 



But the matter is at most a small one. After these 


introductory bars the ' story ' commences, and is told 
us in a beautifully undulating melody in £ time, the 
rhythm of which is no less charming in its originality. 
At the a tempo following the cadence just quoted the 
music becomes more animated, four bars later 
developing into agitato, and continues to increase 
in vigour until we reach the poco a poco meno forte, 
from whence it dies away until the meno mosso 
movement is reached. Here an entirely new theme 
is presented, — perhaps the most beautiful in the 
work. No words can convey the delicious languor of 
which it is redolent. Notice especially here, and 
indeed throughout the Ballade, the frequent use 
of the chord of the thirteenth. Some twenty-four 
bars later the initial theme makes its re-appearance 
in the key of A minor, but on this occasion the two 
unaccented beats in the left hand retain the dominant 
pedal throughout, greatly lending to the effect of the 
long and passionate crescendo which is to come a few 
bars further on, and at the climax of which we are 
plunged into the meno mosso theme, ff. This theme 
here reappears in a very different guise, both it and 
its accompaniment being harmonically varied and 


strengthened. As we proceed the music becomes 
more and more impassioned, a climax being reached 
at the ffz, after which Ave get a lull. But this does 
not continue for long, for the quaver notes gradually 
ascend the scale, and insinuatingly wind themselves 
into an undulating chain of melody, such as no other 
composer knew how to weave. After a further modi- 
fied presentment of the meno mosso phrase, followed 
in its turn by a re-appearance of the initial theme, 
the work is brought to a conclusion by some fifty-six 
bars o£ presto con fuoco. In this short section wild- 
ness reigns supreme, the last part consisting of a 
seething mass of chromatics and octaves, the latter 
now in contrary, now in similar, emotion, until 
after a final semi-tonic rush we are landed almost 
breathless on the tonic chord. 

When we consider the unconventionally and 
the amount of originality contained in the work, 
we cannot much wonder at its appearance having 
been the signal for an onslaught on the part of 
many of the musical critics of the time. It al- 
together passed their understanding. They were 
no more able to recognise the dramatic element 


contained in it than they were competent to ap- 
preciate its many details and technical beauties. 
Schumann referred to it as Chopin's genialischtes 
work, and was more partial to it than to either of its 
companions. Looked at as music per se, I do not 
think the second Ballade can compare with the first. 
The opening anclantino, in its elegant simplicity, 
undoubtedly charms, but it is with difficulty that we 
can get over the lack of affinity of the presto confuoco 
with this preceding section. By far the most inter- 
esting portion is at the first return of the first move- 
ment, where the composer indulges in thematic 
treatment of its subject. The re-appearance of the 
presto takes us on to an agitato coda in A minor. 
But this is not concluded without once more bringing 
before us a modification of the initial phrase. With 
this in the A minor key the Ballade closes, and 
although no less fantastic, yet it is indubitably 
inferior to its predecessor as regards its aesthetic 

We now come to No. 3, in which we have the 
composer in quite a different mood. The whole'atmo- 
sphere of this piece is playful and delicate, and forms 


a vivid contrast with any of its companions. The 
similarity between the opening phrase of this work 
and a portion of the Scherzo 3, Op. 54, we have already 
touched upon. The opening four bars contain a 
complete question and answer, while the syncopations 
which follow are essentially characteristic of the 
whole Ballade throughout which they are maintained. 
Especially is this so with the lovely theme in F major, 
one of the most delicate and idealistic to be found 
even amongst the many idealities he has given us. 
This Ballade breathes nothing but Chopin. Whose 
spirit but his is present in those finely undulating 
semiquaver figures, those ( essential ' harmonies, those 
wonderfully artistic cogitations on the thematic 
material, the hundred and one little evidences of 
a keen perception of the refined in art. Look at the 
section in C sharp minor, and notice the inverted 
dominant pedal in the right hand while the left is 
carrying on the theme. AVe can imagine the master's 
care in the interpretation of such a passage which, 
without the requisite art and feeling in the performer, 
would instantly become commonplace. Yet, in addi- 
tion to all this, the hand of the master who can handle 


the more ' robust ' in his art is equally evident in the 
concluding portion, the harmonic grandeur of which 
cannot but impress us, and which forms so effective a 
conclusion to the spirituelle which has preceded it. 
The chief fault to be found with the fourth and last 
Ballade is that a certain monotony is felt by the 
somewhat excessive use of the original theme. It 
is presented to us in various ways, each individually 
beautiful; yet, taken as a whole, it seems to lack 
that contrast and esprit which is so conspicuous a 
feature of its companions. Nevertheless it is very 
lovely. Specially would we point out the eighteen 
bars which occur in the middle of the work, marked 
a, tempo primo, and which entirely defy any such 
thing as cold criticism. The devotional spirit which 
they breathe is unmistakable, and if we descend to 
technical comment it is only to point out one transi- 
tion more supremely beautiful than the rest. 

:= fr =:i. - jv 

xg^qa. T —]- qvz=z — I — 

-J— JLJ , \ ,, | | 


Later on towards the close of the work, at the 
stretto, we have a very fine harmonic progression, 
but space prevents us from quoting this and many 
other details over which we would fain linger. In 
conclusion, although their number is so small, it is in 
these four Ballades that is noticeable the composer's 
method more than in any of the others. Those 
thoughts which were nipped in the bud by such 
fetters as those imposed by, for instance, the Sonata 
form, here flourish in all their luxuriance. Here the 
composer, feeling himself untrammelled, gives his 
fancy free rein. Sad and happy thoughts chase one 
another incessantly. His thoughts ended, his work 
is ended. J It is essentially ' programme. ' music, 
founded upon definite creations of the composer's 
brain, and expressed now in the most idealistic and 
now in the most realistic manner by him. 


On Robert Schumann's very high opinion of Chopin's 
work we touched in the last chapter. That one 
artist should hold and express such opinions of 
another was, even in those days, remarkable; but 
not only did Schumann feel with regard to Chopin's 
works, what no artist could help feeling, namely, 
their great value as the expression of original genius, 
but he did not hesitate to express publicly his 
opinion, and that without qualification in the 
smallest degree ; and there is no doubt that, had 
Schumann refrained from so doing, the fame of 
Chopin, in Germany at all events, would have taken 
a much longer time to spread. As it was, owing to 
the attention drawn towards his works b}^ Schumann, 
his works were at this time the topic of much dis- 
cussion amongst musicians in that country. And if a 
work be artistic, original, and thorough, discussion 


amongst the enlightened may be said to be the step- 
ping-stone to acceptance. It is, therefore, with the 
greater regret on this account that we find that 
Chopin did not reciprocate this feeling of admira- 
tion for the work of a fellow-artist, especially when 
that artist was a musician of so much originality of 
thought as Robert Schumann. Had it been a 
musician whose theory was the absolute sacrifice 
of thought to form, it would have been the more 
easy to understand, but in the case of Schumann, 
who at that time revealed so much of the beautiful 
in his work, it is inexplicable. When one has regard 
to the prominent qualities which may be said 
in a sense, to obtrude from the work of different 
musicians, it does seem curious that Chopin should 
have admired a musician such as Bellini (whom he 
undoubtedly did admire), and have, practically 
speaking, expressed his contempt for a musician such 
as was Robert Schumann ; that he did do this we 
know on the authority of one of his most famous 
pupils, M. Mathias. 1 He relates that on one occasion 
Schumann sent S. Heller a copy of his Carnaval, 

1 Niecks's Life of Chopin. 


the Opus 9, which had just been published, to 
present to Chopin. It was luxuriously bound, and 
the title-page printed in colours. Heller called on 
the Polish musician in order to carry out his com- 
mission, and handed him the music ; and after having 
examined it, Chopin merely remarked, ' How beauti- 
fully they get up these things in Germany.' He could 
not have been more severe had he been speaking of 
some purveyor of sentimental drawing-room songs, 
who, recognising the inability of his notes to convey 
anything but confusion, was obliged to have recourse 
to the artist and his colour-box. One can under- 
stand his antipathy to the compositions of Liszt, 
for never was barrenness of idea more exemplified 
than in those works of the great pianist which he 
has been pleased to call original compositions. As 
an adapter of other men's ideas, written for other 
instruments, to his own instrument, he has never 
been equalled and can never be excelled, particularly 
as regards the arrangement of orchestral music for 
the piano. His manner of transforming figures 
which, in the orchestral score, appear the very anti- 
thesis of pianoforte music, into figures which are 



not only eminently suitable, but frequently the most 
effective parts of trie work when played upon the 
pianoforte, amounts almost in itself to genius ; and 
had his power in composing and handling original 
melodies been on a par with his great talent in the 
direction we have just mentioned, there is no doubt 
they would have been great works. But, unhappily, 
such was by no means the case, and Liszt's works 
were never favourably looked upon by Chopin. 
Neither did he admire Berlioz, nor even Meyerbeer. 
The composers for whose works he seems to have 
shown preference, at all events as regards giving 
them to his pupils for study, were : — Schubert, 
Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Handel, Dussek, and 

It is now time that we touch upon an incident in 
the life of our artist, to which Ave referred in the last 
chapter, and about which much has been written — 
some of it true, most of it, unfortunately, untrue and 
highly coloured. We do not wish to deny that 
Chopin's connection with Madame Aurora Dude- 
vant (George Sand) is of great importance. It 
undoubtedly was, and did much to influence a 


certain period of his life. But the art of fiction 
should trespass no more on that of biography than 
the biographer should have recourse to fiction in 
relating any incident in the life of the person of 
whom he may be writing. As we have before said, 
of all famous men Chopin has, perhaps, been the 
one most sinned against in this matter. Everyday 
commonplaces in his life have been turned and 
twisted into fulsome romances, more or less coloured 
according to the talent of the writer in that direc- 
tion. It has been our purpose, in this neces- 
sarily short biography, to state nothing for which 
chapter and verse has not been, or cannot be, found. 
Nor do we propose to go very minutely into the 
details of his connection with George Sand, but to 
speak of it only so far as it affects the life and 
character of our artist. Those who would read the 
graphic descriptions we speak of can have no 
difficulty in finding them, as their name is legion 
amongst the biographies of Chopin. Therefore we 
will simply state, without embellishment of any kind, 
that Chopin met George Sand under circumstances 
which arc so absolutely ordinary as to not even give 


the most imaginative reader scope for exercise of his 
imagination. One of the vices of George Sand seems 
to have been not an extraordinary one in women 
generally: that of curiosity. This fatal feeling had 
been aroused by the accounts she had heard of 
Chopin and of his compositions. She therefore asked 
a mutual friend, Franz Liszt, to introduce Chopin to 
her. Liszt, of course, said he would do so, and 
accordingly spoke to Chopin about it. Chopin, how- 
ever, did not seem at all anxious on his part to make 
the acquaintance of a ' literary woman.' Whether he 
had anv definite reason for this we are not told. At 
all events one can perhaps in some measure under- 
stand his prejudices. But either the curiosity 
aroused in the person of George Sand was phenomen- 
ally great, or it was not curiosity alone which 
prompted her in the matter, for she carried the day 
and was introduced by Liszt to Chopin in his own 
rooms, on the occasion of a small party given by 
Chopin to a few musical intimates, for the purpose of 
playing to them some new works which he had 
recently completed. It may be well to say en passant 
that the meeting has been generally described as 
having taken place at a soiree given by Madame 


la Comtesse d'Agoult at the Hotel de France. 
The mistake has probably arisen in this wise : 
The Comtesse d'Agoult was a very intimate friend 
of Liszt, and George Sand herself says in her 
Histoire that she first met Chopin through Madame 
d'Agoult. As Madame d'Agoult (known in the liter- 
ary world as Daniel Stern) accompanied Liszt and 
Madame Sand to Chopin's rooms, it is not unnatural 
that Madame d'Agoult's name should have been 
associated with their first meeting. Besides, George 
Sand does not say that it was Chopin alone whom 
she met through her friend, but mentions his name 
in conjunction with Eugene Sue, Mickiewicz the 
poet, Nourrit the singer, and others. It is true that 
she afterwards met Chopin at one of the soirees 
given by the Comtesse d'Agoult. 

The first impression made by the novelist upon 
Chopin does not seem to have been a favourable one. 
This is not to be wondered at, seeing that, both as 
regards appearance and character, George Sand was 
quite the reverse of Chopin ; for we can take A. de 
Musset's description of her at the time it was made, — 
which was after he had first made her acquaintance, — 
as being reliable. 


He describes her as ' brown, pale, dull-com- 
plexioned, with reflections as of bronze, and strik- 
ingly large-eyed like an Indian/ while Heine describes 
her as having a face beautiful rather than inter- 
esting, her features being almost Grecian in their 
regularity. A mobile face certainly, with low fore- 
head, and eyes the reverse from bright, though he 
says 'her bodily frame seems to be somewhat too 
stout and too short. She appears to have had 
an extraordinary power of fascination, and to have 
exercised it upon Chopin to such an extent that, 
in a short time, he was her devoted slave. May be 
that his disappointment in connection with his 
former love, Maria Wodzinska, had rendered him the 
more easy captive to her fascinations ; but be that as 
it may, it rendered his subjugation to the strong and 
dominating passion of Madame Sand none the less 

The meeting we have above described took place 
in the early part of the year 1837, and in the 
summer of this same year Chopin made his first visit 
to our metropolis. Accompanied by Pleyel, the 
pianoforte manufacturer and publisher, he arrived in 


London on the 11th July, and remained for some 
ten days. It appears Pleyel introduced him to James 
Broadwood as M. Fritz ! With what reason, unless it 
were a joke, we do not know ; however, the pseudonym 
was soon discovered. Although he only played in 
private, he excited the almost universal admiration of 
all the competent critics who had the good fortune to 
hear him. Mr. J. W. Davison, then critic of the 
recently defunct Musical World, wrote an especially 
eulogistic account of his performances in that journal. 
On his return to Paris his health gave him serious 
cause for anxiety, and as decided evidences of chest 
complaint showed themselves, he remained in Paris, 
seeing a great deal, the while, of George Sand, and 
the following winter, at her invitation, he decided to 
accompany her party to the South of France, 
whither she was going, chiefly for the sake of her son's 
health. Thither Madame Sand and her family set 
out in November 1838, Chopin arranging to join 
them at Perpignan. Although in very delicate health, 
he was for the moment considerably stronger than he 
had been for some time past, and bore the fatigue of 
the journey much better than his friends had antici- 


pated. Palina was their destination, travelling 
by way of Port Vendres and Barcelona. For the 
sea voyages they were favoured with fine weather, 
and, after having left Paris a fortnight previous in 
bitterly cold weather, arrived in Palma under a 
glorious sun, and found, in the words of the novelist 
herself, ' a green Switzerland under a Calabrian sky, 
with all the solemnity and stillness of the East.' 
' The country, nature, trees, sky, sea and mountains 
surpass all my dreams/ she writes the first few 
days after their arrival; 'it is the promised land, 
and we are delighted.' But, like many places, the 
beauties of which our novelists never tire of depict- 
ing, the realisation, so far as regards submitting to the 
corresponding discomforts and inconveniences, falls 
far short of the description. Even to-day one's own 
experience teaches that it is much better to read 
our novelist's graphic and vivid depictions of 
any of those places which lie out of the beaten 
track, than to attempt to experience the delights 
they so beautifully describe. Even more so was 
it then, as our party found to their cost in a 
very short time. There appears to have been no 


hotel there whatever, and they were obliged to be 
content with the only lodging they could procure, 
which consisted of two very small rooms, very 
poorly furnished, — in fact, from the account Madame 
Sand gives of them, they could not be termed fur- 
nished in any proper sense of the word. Happily, 
they were not doomed to remain in these quarters 
for long, as in the neighbourhood they chanced to 
find an empty villa, which they did not hesitate to 
procure. Rent, 50 francs a month. This villa, ap- 
propriately named the Villa Son- Vent, they made 
their residence, until they were compelled to leave 
by bad weather. Truly it was named a ' House 
of the Wind ' and rain, and it fully acted up to 
its title : — ' The walls of it were so thin that the 
lime with which our rooms were plastered swelled 
like a sponge. For us, who were accustomed to 
warm ourselves in cold weather, this house without 
a chimney was like a mantle of ice upon our 
shoulders, and I felt paralysed. Our invalid began 
to ail and cough, and from this moment we became 
an object of dread and horror to the people. We 
were accused and convicted of pulmonary phthisis, 


which is equivalent to the plague in the pre- 
judices regarding contagion entertained by Spanish 
physicians.' So writes Mme. Sand in her Hiver 
a Majorque. It therefore became necessary for the 
party once more to look about them for a more 
habitable dwelling. This, after much trouble, they 
found in the Carthusian monastery of Yaldemosa, 
where at the time were hidden a Spanish refugee 
and his wife. The couple, being anxious to leave 
the island at once, gladly grasped the opportunity 
held out to them, and disposed of their cell and 
furniture to George Sand for the sum of a thousand 
francs. For a faithful description of their abode, 
which is so interesting to the Chopin-lover as being 
the place wherein he wrote much of his most 
beautiful work, we cannot do better than quote 
from Mr. Wood's delightful series of Letters from 
Majorca. 1 Speaking of the Carthusian monastery, 
he says: 'In the winter we had not visited the 
monastery. We did so to-day. I especially wished 
to make its acquaintance. For me it bore a name- 

1 Letters from Majorca, by Charles W. Wood, F.R.G.S. 
London : R. Bentley and Sons, 1888. 


less charm. It was hero that, fifty years ago, 
George Sand had spent a winter, accompanied by 
her children and by Chopin. Imagine a man of 
Chopin's delicate health and sensitive temperament 
spending a winter in Mallorca. It was a season of 
snow and frost, too, as George Sand has recorded. 
Even to-day, in visiting the island, you have to rough 
it to some extent ; but fifty years ago the life here 
for a stranger was almost aboriginal. No one wanted 
him. He was a spy upon the land, like Caleb and 
Joshua : an intruder, who was sent to Coventry. It 
nearly cost Chopin his life, and no doubt hastened 
his end. . . . We first entered the church attached 
to the monastery, an empty building, of fine propor- 
tions, dimly lighted. Our footsteps echoed under 
the vaulted roof. At the farther end, behind a 
screen, was a harmonium. . . . An opposite door led 
into the cloisters, — ancient, substantial, picturesque, 
beginning to crumble. . . . They form a small, perfect 
quadrangle. Running out, and away from these 
cloisters, are long, very long corridors, with vaulted 
roofs. At the end, looking quite mysterious, and 
far off and poetical, like a distant star, a lantern 


or rose window admits a little light upon the scene. 
On one side of the corridor, large square windows per- 
mit a little sunshine to enter, and throw deep lights 
and shadows upon walls and pavement. Opposite the 
windows are the doors of the cells. We were ad- 
mitted to one of them this morning, as, for the 
time being, it was untenanted. Each block consists 
of several rooms, large and lofty.' 

Of George Sand's particular apartment, he says : 
1 Her apartment was the very last in the corridor, close 
to the rose window. Here they spent months of misery 
and privation ; were nearly starved to death : almost 
perished in the cold of that unusually severe winter. 
It was impossible to warm these great rooms. People 
would not wait upon them. It was difficult to obtain 
fuel. They were treated as heathens by the priest- 
ridden, superstitious race, because George Sand, on 
her first appearance, had failed to attend mass. And, 
as the mischief was done, she. never went to church 
at all. With the Mallorcans such a thing as atone- 
ment found no place. So for this neglect they were 
persecuted. Of course, they ought never to have 
gone there.' 


Having thus (we will not say comfortably) estab- 
lished our artist in his monastery, we will proceed 
to discuss the result, musically speaking, of his 
sojourn there, so far, at all events, as regards the 
collection of short pieces, entitled Prdudes, Op. 28, 
of which there are twenty-four, and one, Op. 45, 
published separately. Strictly speaking, the Prelude 
is understood to be the introduction to a fugue or 
chorale, such as Sebastian Bach has given us ; 
indeed, he may be said to have gone so far as to 
have written some of his Preludes more in the char- 
acter of a toccata than in any other. Therefore 
it is essential, in looking at these compositions (if 
such they may be called) of Chopin, that we dismiss 
this meaning of the word from our minds, and 
simply look at them as the pure essence of the 
composer's musical thoughts at the time — one might 
say the vivid reflection of his inner self. And 
although we are taking them as the direct result 
of his stay in Valdemosa, it is an open question 
whether they were all actually conceived by him at 
that time. George Sand not only states that they 
were, but gives us some highly-coloured pictures and 


anecdotes in connection with the creation of some 
of them. Gutmann, the favourite pupil of Chopin, 
distinctly avers that he saw the original MSS. before 
Chopin left Paris; but, although I am inclined to 
agree with Professor Niecks's reasoning, that the early 
Opus number indicates the existence of some of them 
prior to this time, yet they are so varied in character 
that I think there can be no doubt that certain of 
them, such as Nos. 4, 6, 9, 13, 20, and 21, were 
written at Valdemosa, and that Chopin, having 
sketches of others by him, completed the whole 
there, and published them under one Opus number. 
The atmosphere of those which I have named is 
morbid and azotic; to them there clings a faint 
flavour of disease, a something which is over-ripe 
in its lusciousness and febrile in its passion. This, 
in itself, inclines me to believe that they were written 
at the time we have named. As it would encroach 
too much upon the space at our command to 
examine each of these Preludes carefully, we 
must, perforce, rest content with a glance at 
the salient points of those we select. No. 2, 
with its discordant quaver figure, is morbid in 


the extreme. Note the Chopinesque phrase in this 
number, — 


and compare it with bar 25 of the Nocturne No. 1. 
Op. 9, where we find it written thus, — 


W + Hi **-J— 

*•*' * & 4 : 

although the harmonic treatment of the phrase 
varies considerably. The flowing semiquaver figure 
of the accompaniment in No. 3 is essentially French. 
This figure is adhered to throughout the number, 
but the melody is not remarkable. It is difficult 
to find an adjective to fully express the exquisite 
sadness of No. 4, one of the most beautiful of 
these spontaneous sketches; for they are no more 
than sketches. The melody seems literally to wail, 
and reaches its greatest pitch of intensity at the 
stretto. It is with a sigh of relief that we come 


upon No. 5 ; a charming allegro movement in D 
major. But it is only to be plunged once more 
into the prostration of soul expressed in the next 
Prelude in B minor. In No. 9 we have perhaps 
some of the 'broadest' writing the composer has 
given us : short as it is, there is a majestic air about it, 
such as we do not often find him giving expression 
to. It might almost be termed ' Schumannish,' 
yet the individuality of its creator is over it all. 
Of No. 11, no one who hears the first four bars 
could help exclaiming that is 'Chopin.' On 
reaching No. 13 one is inclined to be invidious, 
and to exclaim 'here is the most beautiful of all.' 
Indeed, I think, were I asked to make selection I 
should choose Nos. 13 and 15. Notice specially in 
No. 13 the rare beauty of the piu lento portion, and 
the original manner of ending the work. Indeed, 
throughout all his work his originality in closing is 
remarkable. He never, like many other composers, 
spoils his previous effort by a commonplace or tedious 
ending. All is as easy and natural as it is removed 
from the ordinary. No. 15 opens with melody 
at once pathetic and sweet; sadness seems to be 


more emphatically expressed in bars eleven and 
twelve. In reference to this special Prelude I will 
quote from George Sand's Histoire once again. 
' While staying in this " card-house " he composed 
some short but very beautiful pieces, which he 
modestly entitled " Preludes " ; they were real master- 
pieces. Some of them create such vivid impres- 
sions that the shades of the dead monks seem to 
rise and pass before the hearer in solemn and 
gloomy funereal pomp/ Nothing could be more 
descriptive than this of the middle section of the 
Prelude 15 in D flat. A marked feature of the work 
is the almost continuous use of the dominant pedal 
throughout. All through the first section, whilst 
we are in D flat, we have the reiteration of the quaver 
note, and after reaching the change to C sharp minor 
we find it even more marked ; as an inverted pedal 
the G sharp alone being played by the right hand, 
while the left plays the stately four crotchet chords 
to the bar which gives us the idea so graphically 
described by George Sand. Twelve bars after the 
' entry ' to C sharp minor we are in E major, and here 
we get the continuous beat of the dominant again, 



this time in octaves, the melody in the bass being also 
strengthened by the addition of an inner part. Once 
more we are in C sharp minor, and the same section 
is repeated ; the melody now occurs in the upper 
part in octaves, the pedal accompanying note having 
receded into the second part; four bars later the 
octaves give way to three-part chords, and the accom- 
panying pedal note takes the tenor part, and so 
we are led on until, at the re-entry of the key of 
D flat we have the G sharp enharmonically changed 
to the A flat, and do not cease to hear its incessant 
beat until after six bars, when perhaps the most 
marvellous effect of the whole work is reached, and all 
is quiet, save the supplicating phrase of the melody — 


the first note of which is forte, with a diminuendo 
as we descend the scale. Then, once more, the 
incessant beat of the pedal note for six bars, the 
last two of which are marked ritenuto. 

None but a genius could have led us through this 


without causing monotony. But no description in 
words can give us the true idea of its absolute 
beauty, its poetry, and its refinement. It is Chopin 
himself, and Chopin at his best. When we say this 
we say everything. Having lingered in one sense 
somewhat unduly, though in another insufficiently, 
over this number, we can only glance at Nos. 20 
and 21 before proceeding with the life of the com- 
poser. Some twelve bars only go to make up No. 
20. It is merely a sketch in bold colours with a 
wealth of music. The melody is responsive in 
character, and the modulation very beautiful, yet 
withal quite easy. It was evidently conceived much 
in the same spirit as Schumann's JSfachtstuck, No. 1, 
Op. 23, with which a comparison is interesting. 

At the commencement of No. 21 we are struck 
with the daintiness of the diverging quaver figure 
of accompaniment. After the first sixteen bars 
we come to a melody similar in character to that 
in the last ten bars of No. 13. And although 
the quaver figure in its first form is dropped here, 
the composer takes it up again sixteen bars later 
in both hands, weaving above it his melody with 


a strong accent on the first beat of the bar, while the 
quaver figure fills up the remainder. We now lose 
sight of it again in the form, though it is there 
in the spirit, up to the last bar. No. 24 is 
intensely Chopinesque, and with it we are brought 
to the end of the Opus, and it is not without regret 
that we leave these reflections of the composer's 
mind, which contain such an inexhaustible wealth 
of melody, poetry, and passion. 


Notwithstanding the considerable trouble and in- 
convenience through which they had passed, life in 
the ex-monastery seems for a time to have held 
considerable charm for Madame Sand and her chil- 
dren. In addition to the furniture procured from 
the Spanish couple, they had been able to purchase 
more accessories with which to make themselves com- 
fortable, and altogether things were a great improve- 
ment upon what they had been. But all this time 
our poor Chopin was without his piano. He had sent 
for one to Pleyel of Paris, his favourite maker ; but it 
took some two months to effect its transit, and when 
it did arrive he was compelled to pay customs duty 
upon it to the amount of some 300 francs. Their life 
was necessarily an extremely quiet and simple one. 
In the morning George Sand occupied herself with 
giving lessons to her children, the afternoon being 


devoted to her literary work whilst the children were 
out, Chopin devoting himself to improvising] and 
composing mainly in the evenings. The chief diffi- 
culty experienced was in procuring sufficiently 
strengthening diet for the invalid, for although 
Madame Sand's son Maurice had greatly benefited 
by the change, such was not the case with Chopin. 
In the weak state of health in which he then was it 
was essential that he should have nutritious food: 
whereas the only thing they could be at all sure of 
procuring was pork. Such fowls as they were able to 
get were so poor as to be not worth the cooking, and 
it is terrible to think of what straits the} 7 might have 
been put to had it not been for the assistance of the 
French consul's cook, who, whenever the weather 
permitted, sent them over provisions. Surely life 
under such circumstances was the last thing in the 
world to which a man suffering from a lung com- 
plaint should have been subjected, to say nothing of 
the fact that he was of most refined tastes, and 
almost inclined to be epicurean with regard to his 
food. Besides this, Chopin appears to have been 
much depressed by the very scenery amid which they 


had taken up their residence. No one who has not 
lived for a considerable time amongst them can have 
an adequate idea of the deep gloom cast on all around 
by olive trees. At first sight they are, by reason of 
the very quality which afterwards makes them 
monotonous, very beautiful to the eye. Together 
with this all the surroundings were decidedly 
depressing ; witness George Sand's description of the 
place : — ' I never heard the wind sound so much like 
mournful voices and give forth such despairing howls 
as in these empty and sonorous galleries. The 
noise of the torrents, the swift motion of the clouds, 
the grand monotonous sound of the sea, interrupted 
by the whistling of the storm and the plaintive cries 
of the sea birds which passed quite terrified and 
bewildered in the squalls, then thick fogs which fell 
suddenly like a shroud, and which, penetrating into 
the cloisters through the broken arcades, rendered us 
invisible ... all combined made indeed this monas- 
tery the most romantic abode in the world.' 

The 'romantic' element referred to does not seem 
to have been able to hold out against the counteract- 
ing element of desolation, for shortly after writing the 


above she says : — ' As the winter advanced sadness 
more and more paralysed my efforts at gaiety and 
cheerfulness. The state of our invalid grew worse 
and worse, the wind howled in the ravines, the rain 
beat against our windows, the voice of the thunder 
penetrated through our thick walls, and mingled its 
mournful sounds with the laughter and play of the 
children. . . . The raging sea kept the ships in the 
harbours; we felt ourselves prisoners far from all 
enlightened help and from sympathy. Death seemed 
to hover over our heads to seize one of us, and we 
were alone in contending with him for his prey.' 
Truly a dispiriting picture, and if dispiriting to the 
vivacious novelist in good health, how much more so 
to the delicate musician, accustomed only to the 
bright salons of Parisian society. No wonder that his 
one desire was to return to Paris. The damp and 
bad weather had had their injurious effect upon him, 
and it now became a question as to whether he would 
be able to move for some time. Neither does Madame 
Sand seem to have escaped the fatal influences of 
their discomfort, she having suffered severely from 
rheumatism. While in the monastery she completed 


her novel of monastic life — Spiridion, and no doubt 
for this purpose she could not have lived in a more 
suitable place. Apart from even the climatic hard- 
ships, they found it next to impossible to procure any 
servants, and even the maid whom Madame Sand had 
brought from France, at an enormous wage, began to 
refuse attendance, saying the work and discomforts 
were too much for her. 

Much of the novelist's time was now taken up in 
nursing the invalid, as of all things he disliked 
being left alone. Moreover, as time went on he 
grew gradually worse, and, as a not unnatural result, 
more peevish and irritable. Madame Sand describes 
him as 'a detestable patient'; she says 'he became 
completely demoralised. Bearing pain courageously 
enough, he could not overcome the disquietude of 
his imagination. The monastery was for him full of 
terrors and phantoms even when he was well.' 

At last things came to such a pitch that, al- 
though he did not seem to be in a state to with- 
stand the fatigue of a journey, he seemed equally 
incapable of going through another week on the 
island. The worst of the weather was now over, and 


spring was rapidly making its appearance ; therefore, 
taking this into consideration, Madame Sand judged 
it wiser to take advantage of the elements being 
favourable, and to leave Majorca. Her decision was 
no doubt in part due to the fact that, whereas Chopin 
had landed there with only a slight cough, he was 
now spitting blood, and she became seriously alarmed. 
They accordingly at once made arrangements for 
their departure for Marseilles, via Barcelona. In a 
letter to her friend, Francois Rollinat, George Sand 
gives a terrible account of the sufferings of poor 
Chopin on the journey from Palma to Barcelona. 
After having been obliged to travel the three miles 
between Yaldemosa and Palma, over the worst roads 
in the island, in a birlocho (a small open carriage), 
they embarked on a small steamboat, the only one 
then serving the place, which was used for the trans- 
port of pigs to Barcelona. They had for their fellow- 
passengers over a hundred of these animals, ' whose 
continual cries and foul smell left our patient neither 
rest nor fresh air. He arrived at Barcelona still 
spitting blood, and crawling along like a ghost.' 
However, arrived here their misfortunes were practi- 


cally at an end, for the French consul, as well as the 
commander of one of the French war-ships at the 
time in harbour, both showed them very great kind- 
ness. Here they remained in the hotel for a week, 
Chopin being placed under the care of the ship's 
surgeon, who stopped the haemorrhage from the lung 
in twenty-four hours. Fourteen days after leaving 
Palma they arrived at Marseilles, having this time 
been considerably more fortunate in their steamer 
and its captain. 

Before closing this chapter it will not be out of 
place to select for consideration some of those 
compositions, other than the Preludes, which Chopin 
completed while staying in the Balearic Islands. 
Of these, the Ballade, Op. 38, and the Scherzo, 
Op. 39, have been discussed under their respective 
heads. There remains only the Opus 40, which we 
find to consist of two ' Polonaises.' Together with 
these, let us look at the remaining five Polonaises 
which Chopin published; Op. 26, two Polonaises; 
Op. 53, Polonaise in Aflat; and Op. 61, Polonaise- 
Fantasie in A flat. First, as to the word Polonaise. 
The Polonaise (originally the word was spelled 


' Polonais ' without the final e) is a processional 
type of dance in f time, demonstrating especially 
the Polish national spirit and character. The accent 
is generally found in the second beat of the bar, and 
the great rhythmical expression of the dance forms 
one of its greatest charms. As a form of composi- 
tion it was much resorted to by Polish musicians 
generally, such as Prince Oginski, Eisner, Kozlowski, 
and others. It was a processional form of dance, in 
which the men rather than the women sustained 
the principal part, and was always the Court dance 
par excellence. Prominent amongst those composers 
outside of Poland who have written Polonaises are 
Weber and Spohr. 

Of Chopin's contributions under this head, it may 
be said that he gradually freed himself from the con- 
ventionalities of the form in his later specimens, con- 
siderably idealising it, and colouring it with his own 
personality. He may be said to have almost trans- 
ferred the locale of the dance from the ball-room to 
the battle-field, the Polonaises being essentially ex- 
pressive of their composer's patriotic feelings, and 
from this point of view especially interesting. 


The first of Op. 26 is in the key of C sharp minor, 
and is perhaps less virile than any of the others. 
Most beautiful is the middle meno mosso movement, 
which, to our mind, breathes ' Spohr ' in nearly every 
bar. Notice, also, the beautiful modulatory bars 
10, 11, 12, followed by the succession of sevenths, to 
which Chopin is so partial. But what a different 
spirit prevails in No. 2 of this Opus! It seems to 
express the subdued wrath of his politically-oppressed 
people. The opening semiquaver figure seems to us 

*±§J* M r- 

* MrKh ») .i~T~" 

i r 

most markedly expressive of this, for in itself it is 
essentially a figure which musical instinct would dic- 
tate should be played forte, yet we have pianissimo 
marked by the composer, as much as to indicate 
rage to which they are unable to give vent. This 
murmuring spirit of oppression prevails throughout 
the first part of the work. At the meno mosso the 
music grows calmer, until we are again led into the 


first theme. Notice, on the last appearance of the 
sotto voce phrase alluded to above, the numerous 
marks of expression — poco rit, the next bar occel., 
then rit again, and so on, giving us a vivid picture of 
the unsettled and rebellious feelings at work. Especi- 
ally characteristic, also, are the final bars, with their 
strongly marked nuances. No. 1 of Op. 40 is in 
A major, and is throughout an intensely martial 
composition. But there is a spirit of victory and 
conquest about it foreign to the last two we have 
just discussed. It is so well known as to render 
any attempt at either emotional or formal analysis 
unnecessary. The most remarkable circumstance 
attached to it seems to us to lie in the fact that it is 
supposed to have been written during Chopin's stay in 
the Carthusian monastery. For he mentions the dedi- 
cation of it to his friend Julius Fontana, in a letter 
written from Marseilles almost immediately after 
his arrival there from Palma. When we consider 
the conditions by which he was surrounded, the 
wretched health in which he was, and the thousand- 
and-one experiences he had to undergo, all having 
a tendency to depress, instead of elevate, his inspira- 


tional powers ; moreover, when we compare it 
with the other works composed then, we find it 
difficult to credit that this healthy and vigorous 
creation had its birth at that time. We incline 
rather to believe that it was with this, as with some 
of the Preludes — that is, that it was originally com- 
posed prior to his departure from Paris, and merely 
completed during his stay in Majorca. The No. 2 
differs from it as presenting more variety of emotion, 
though we must confess to finding the second 
portion in A flat major wanting in conciseness, and 
its continuous enharmonic changes somewhat irritat- 
ing. The same complaint may be made with regard 
to the No. 1 in F sharp minor of Op. 44. It is 
noisy in the extreme, and with the exception of the 
Mazurka movement intervening, is greatly wanting 
in those many and varied emotional aspects which 
distinguish its companions. Let us select it, there- 
fore, for more technical examination. The composer 
leads off with a preliminary phrase in octaves, 
consisting of eight bars. We are then introduced 
to the leading theme, which, after eight bars, is 
given to the bass in octaves. A full close is then 


made in F sharp minor, and a sudden transition 
hurls us into the key of B flat minor, in which we 
now get a short tributary to the leading theme. 
At the eighth and last bar of this we are, by 
enharmonic means, brought back to the original 
theme in the primary key, the effect of the transi- 
tion being no less abrupt than on the occasion of our 
quitting it. The tributary now once more appears, 
slightly elaborated, and is again followed by the 
principal, to which is added considerable elaboration 
of the bass part. We are now soon to have fresh 
matter, notwithstanding that we see ahead of us 
the same and ever -recurring transitional phrase, 
which, at first sight, almost causes us to fear more 
repetition. But in this we are agreeably disappointed, 
for instead of B flat minor we find ourselves in 
A major, in which we feel much more at home. 
There now occurs a somewhat protracted episode, 
which at length gives way to an allusion in C sharp 
minor to the tributary of the original theme; the 
episode is then returned to and concluded. We 
now throw off the rhythm of the Polonaise for 
that of the Mazurka. We are still in the relative 


major of the primary key, and the Mazurka fol- 
lows its usual course, reminding us forcibly at 
times of his other compositions in this form. 
This concluded, we are gradually led back, by 
allusions to the different parts of the Polonaise, to its 
leading theme, which is followed in much the same 
way as before the Mazurka movement. At the 
stretto we have the coda, conspicuous in which is a 
long cadenza for the left hand, which leads us into a 
cantabile diminuendo, with which the work closes. 
Perhaps the finest, certainly the most popular 
(though that is no criterion) is the Polonaise in A 
flat major, Op. 53, beloved of pianists one and all. 
The first object to attract our notice is the rushing 
succession of chromatic chords of the sixth, while a 
highly important, though perhaps not so noticeable, 
feature is the retention by the composer of the 
dominant E flat as a pedal bass on the second 
beat of each bar following the succession of 
sixths. Especially effective is this in bar 6. In 
bar 10 we have it again, although the effect 
is not so marked here, the note forming the 
seventh of the chord ; but mark its retention in the 



first chord of the following bar, when it is surmounted 
by the E flat dominant seventh chord. Again, in the 
next bar, we have above it the common chord of B 
flat. In fact, Ave do not lose sight of it in this form 
until we find it in its place as the bass of the A flat 
dominant seventh, at the commencement of bar 13. 
Familiar, of course, to all is the realistic effect attained 
by the descending semiquaver figure for the left hand 
in octaves, which can only impress the mind with one 
picture, — that of the trampling of horses, — whilst in the 
right hand we have an intensely martial theme which 
augments the effect of the picture to such an extent 
that it does not take a very imaginative mind to 
grasp the whole intention of this portion of the work. 
This is no doubt the main reason of its enormous 
popularity, and if the composer ever did err on the 
side of realism it is here ; but the end attained may 
fairly be said to justify the means employed. Before 
leaving this number we may point out the great 
result attained by comparatively small means in bar 
17 of this part in E major. At bar 13 we find poco a 
poco crescendo. Here this especial effect may be 
said to begin. The climax is reached at bar 17, where 


the whole structure is lowered a semitone, with the 
effect that the entire mass of sound seems to have 
suddenly come upon us, whereas before it had been 
comparatively distant. 

To follow Chopin through all the ' wanderings ' of 
his Fantasie Polonaise, Op. 61, would take more 
space than we are able to command. Let it suffice 
that, whilst there are contained in it some of the most 
beautiful thoughts he has given us, yet, taken as a 
work of art, the whole is so terribly diffuse as to in a 
great measure reduce its artistic value. The con- 
stituent elements of the composition, though intensely 
beautiful of themselves, are not linked together as part 
of one organic whole. It is, perhaps, one of the most un- 
restrained and unsymmetrical of his compositions, for 
while they may often be said to consist of emotional 
expression quite unfettered, yet a certain coherence 
of form is maintained, if only by the rhythmical accent. 
Finally, although in these Polonaises we find some of 
the most remarkable and characteristic of his 
thoughts, they nevertheless represent only the mas- 
culine side of his genius, which does not appeal to us 
to such an extent as that which he has exemplified 


in such forms as the Ballades, Preludes, or Etudes, 
and although perhaps these ' feminine ' forms demand 
greater aesthetic appreciation on the part of the 
listener, yet they seem to us more reflective of the 
composer himself, and therefore the most satisfying. 


In the last chapter we left Madame Sand and her 
party safely landed in Marseilles. Here they were 
sufficiently fortunate to secure the services of a 
physician in every way capable of treating the 
invalid, and to this reason may be attributed the 
somewhat lengthy stay made by them in that town. 
Under the care of Dr. Cauviere (the physician named 
by George Sand in her letters from Marseilles) 
Chopin's health rapidly improved. From this time 
forward we find a much brighter tone prevailing in 
his letters to his various friends. To Fontana he 
writes : — ' My health is still improving. I begin to 
eat, walk, and speak like other men ; and when you 
receive these few words from me you will see that 
I again write with ease.' He busied himself with 
negotiating with publishers for the sale of several 
mss. (mostly those written at Palm a), and altogether 


seemed to emerge from trie lethargic state into which 
he had lapsed during the latter part of his sojourn 
at Valdemosa. 

Both musician and novelist were equally glad 
to have turned their backs upon the place in 
which their stay had been fraught with so much 
misery, although the city of Marseilles itself did not 
hold out any inducements likely to retain either 
for a longer time than was strictly necessary. In 
another letter, written to Fontana at this time, we 
find mention of his being so far recovered as to have 
been able to assist at the funeral service of the 
famous opera tenor, Adolphe Nourrit, who had, in 
a fit of despondency, committed suicide by throwing 
himself from a window in Naples. His body was 
taken by his widow to Paris via Marseilles, at which 
latter place a funeral service was held hi the Church 
of Notre-Darne-du-Mont. It was at this service that 
Chopin lent his assistance by playing the organ at 
the Elevation. The audience, some of whom had 
paid as much as fifty centimes each for a seat (an 
unusually high price), seem to have been keenly 
disappointed at the value received in return for their 


reckless expenditure, expecting, no doubt, in place of 
the refined playing of the performer, that he would 
give them noise no less great than what they 
naturally expected from a man with such a great 
reputation. Apart from his artistic feelings in the 
matter, poor Chopin was no doubt fearful of the 
result should he tax the resources of the wretched 
instrument to any great extent, for, says Madame 
Sand, ' What an organ ! A false, screaming instru- 
ment, which had no wind, except for the purpose of 
being out of tune. . . . He, however, made the most 
of it, taking the least shrill stops, and playing Les 
Astres, 1 not in the enthusiastic manner in which 
Nourrit used to sing it, but plaintively and softly, 
like the far-off echo from another world.' 

From Marseilles they made a short tour in Italy, 
visiting Genoa and the neighbourhood, after which 
they returned once more vid Marseilles to Nohant, 
a hamlet lying some three miles from the little town 
of La Chatre, in the department of Indre. Here 
Madame Sand had her home, and here it was that 
Chopin passed some three or four months of nearly 

1 A melody of Schubert's. 


every year from 1838 to 1846. The Chateau of 
Nohant, as it was called, was a plain grey stone house, 
the principal feature of which was its steep Mansarde 
roofs of the time of Louis xvi., — a picturesque house, 
standing back from the road, and surrounded by a 
large flower garden and spinney, and having quite the 
air of repose of an English manor-house. Arrived 
here, Chopin, who now seemed to be on the sure 
road to recovery, was attended by a physician and old 
friend of Madame Sand's, Dr. Papet, who expressed 
himself confident that any signs of serious pulmonary 
affection that had formerly showed themselves had 
entirely vanished, and that there need not be the 
slightest cause for alarm. The quiet country life 
passed at Nohant, although undoubtedly beneficial 
to him physically, did not suit Chopin. He chafed 
under the monotony of c every day's most quiet need,' 
and longed for his Paris ; but with Madame Sand it 
was just the reverse ; in fact, she often contemplated 
settling down entirely at Nohant, for she says : — 
'Parisian life strains our nerves and kills us in the 
end. Ah ! how I hate it, that centre of light. I 
would never set foot in it again if only the people 


I like would make the same resolution. At Paris I 
am always ill, both in body and soul.' 

Chopin's letters at this time consist mostly of 
instructions to his friend Fontana in Paris, with 
respect to the sale of his manuscripts. He seems 
to have taken for his motto (in some cases, no 
doubt, with good cause), ' Barabbas was a pub- 
lisher.' Certainly, on many occasions the sums 
received for the sale of his copyrights seem utterly 
inadequate, even when one takes into considera- 
tion the comparatively small sale then attained 
by his works. Nevertheless, midst all this wrang- 
ling and complaining, there frequently shows itself 
that vein of humour and sarcasm which formed no 
small part of Chopin's character. For instance, he 
commences, in one letter to Fontana, ' The best part 
of your letter is your address, which I had already 
forgotten, and without which I do not know if 1 
would have answered you so soon.' And in a later 
letter to the same friend, amongst other commissions 
given, he says : — ' Find me a valet, and kiss Madame 
Leo 1 (surely the first commission will be the more 

1 Wife of August Leo, his banker. 


pleasant to you, wherefore I relieve you of the second 
if you will do the first). Tell Gutmann that I was 
much pleased that he asked for me at least once. 
To Moscheles, should he be in Paris, order to be given 
an infusion of Neukomm's Oratorios prepared with 
Berlioz's Cellini and Doehler's Concerto. You your- 
self take a bath in whale's infusion as a restorative 
from all the commissions I give you, which I know 
you will willingly do for me to the greatest extent 
in your power. I will do the same for you when 
you are married ; only not to Ox, for that is my 
party.' In such like banter he frequently indulges ; 
indeed, when we consider the state of his health his 
light-heartedness is at times amazing. But he was 
quite a creature of impulse, now as gay and bright 
as a boy, and the next half hour would find him 
plunged in the deepest dejection. A spirit of 
intense restlessness would sometimes come over him ; 
as Madame Sand says, ' Chopin was always wishing 
for Nohant, yet he never could bear it.' He was 
no sooner in the country than he longed for the 
gaiety and life of the town. Yet life at Nohant 
was not by any means confined to Avork, and such 


simple and rural pleasures as one generally looks for 
and gets in the country. On the contrary, Madame 
Sand seems to have left nothing undone to make 
the time go by. Billiards, shooting, fishing, boat- 
ing, and such like sports were freely indulged in 
by the novelist and her guests ; amongst whom 
were frequently to be found such names as Pauline 
Garcia, Eugene Delacroix, and the Comtesse d'Agoult. 
Private theatricals was a frequent form of amuse- 
ment, and Eugene Delacroix, the artist, in one of his 
letters mentions a grand ball given by Madame 
Sand to the peasants of the neighbourhood. Never- 
theless, the monotony of the life became intensely 
wearisome to Chopin. Thus it is that we have 
him writing urgent and imperative requests to his 
friend Fontana to find him suitable apartments, 
and to expect his speedy return ; and not only for 
Chopin did the good Fontana busy himself, but 
for Madame Sand who, when she found Chopin 
determined to leave, would not let him out of her 
sight, and followed him to Paris. 

Fontana was certainly nothing less than an angel 
in human form if he carried out one-half of the com- 


missions entrusted to him. For Chopin's letters 
simply teem with trifling requests to his friend. Of 
the management of the more prosaic details of life he 
was quite incapable, and readily threw the burden of 
it upon his friends ; although this manner of tres- 
passing upon their good nature did not — as in the 
case of Richard Wagner, for instance — take the 
form of repeated requests for money. On the con- 
trary, Chopin, although decidedly an extravagant 
man, liking and ordering the best of everything, 
was generally in a position to support his tastes by 
his own exertions. He was scrupulously tidy and 
clean, and most particular in his dress. He 
evidently did not think it incumbent upon genius 
to simulate the attire of a second-hand clothes 
dealer, or the manners of a coal-heaver, — far from 
it ; he was essentially a gentleman in every sense 
of the word, and no doubt this it was that, coupled 
with his undeniable genius, made Frederic Chopin 
one of the most striking and original men of his 
time. For how seldom do we ever find the two 
together, or for that matter even separately. 

At length the long-suffering Fontana succeeded in 


finding suitable rooms for both Chopin and Madame 
Sand ; for the former in the Rue Tronchet, and for 
the latter in the Rue Pigalle ; but this done, there 
remained the thousand-and-one little items about 
which Chopin was so faddy. For instance, after 
writing some pages descriptive of the smallest 
details, such as, ( The rooms must, of course, have 
inlaid floors, newly laid if possible, and require no 
repairs. . . There must be perfect quietness, and 
no blacksmith in the neighbourhood ; further, there 
must be no smoke nor bad smells, but a fine view 
and large garden. Find something splendid.' And 
again, 'In the ante-room you will hang the grey 
curtains which were in my cabinet with the piano, 
and in the bedroom the same as before, only under 
them the white muslin, over which before were 
under the grey ones. If the little sofa, that 
which stood in the dining-room, could be covered 
with red, in the same stuff with which the chairs 
are covered, it might then be placed in the drawing- 
room.' Then he would leave the subject of the 
rooms and furniture for a time, and give instructions 
about his wardrobe in this wise : — ' Go to my 


tailors, Dauilemont's, on the Boulevards, and order 
him to make me at once a pair of grey trousers, 
something respectable, not striped, but plain and 
elastic ; you know what I require. Also a quiet 
black velvet waistcoat, with very little and no loud 
pattern, — something very quiet but very elegant. 
Write constantly to me — three times a day if you 
like, whether you have anything to say or not.' And 
after all this and a hundred other things he would 
finally end by adding, ' Now, for God's sake, I beg of 
you take an active [the italics are ours] interest in 
the matter ! ' It is difficult to find words sufficiently 
strong to convey any idea of the ' activity ' which his 
friend must have displayed, did he faithfully carry 
out one-half of the things entrusted to him. That 
he proved worthy of his trust we may see from 
the fact that, in October 1839, we find Chopin duly 
installed in the Rue Tronchet, and Madame Sand 
in the Rue Pigalle. Once settled down, Chopin 
resumed his teaching, and generally took up the 
threads of his former Parisian life where he had 
laid them down on his departure. 

He now made the acquaintance of Moscheles, whose 


remarks on the artist's playing and compositions are 
perhaps worthy of note. Moscheles found his ad 
libitum playing, as he called it, full of charm, and he 
goes on to say, ' The dilettantish harsh modulations 
which strike me disagreeably, when I am playing his 
compositions, no longer shock me, because he glides 
lightly over them in a fairy-like way with his delicate 
fingers. His piano is so softly breathed forth that 
he does not require any strong forte to produce the 
wished-for contrasts.' 

It was with Moscheles that Chopin played at this 
time at the Court of Louis Philippe at St. Cloud ; the 
chief work performed being the former musician's 
Sonata in E flat major, for four hands. One result 
of this visit was a presentation by the king to Chopin 
of a gold cup and saucer, while to Moscheles was 
presented a travelling case, which Chopin caustically 
told him was given with the object of getting the 
sooner rid of him. During this year the Preludes 
only were published, but the time spent at Nohant 
had been fruitful, for these were followed by several 
other works, amongst which we may mention the 
Sonata in B flat minor, Op. 35, containing the now 


celebrated funeral march, which had, however, been 
written prior to the accompanying movement. In 
addition to these were, Impromptu, F sharp major, 
Op. 36 ; the second Ballade, Op. 38 ; the third Scherzo, 
Op. 39 ; Two Polonaises, Op. 40 ; Four Mazurkas, Op. 
41 ; Valse in A flat major, Op. 42 ; Tarantella, Allegro 
de Concert, and Fantaisie, Op. 49. We will now 
proceed to notice the Sonata, Op. 35, taking with it 
its companions, Op. 58, and the Op. 65, for violoncello 
and pianoforte, which, with the early Op. 4, comprise 
the master's contributions in this form. 

The B flat minor Sonata commences with a preamble 
of four bars, grave, after which the leading theme in a 
doppio movimento is announced. This becomes more 
and more agitated as it develops, until the second sub- 
ject in the key of D flat major is reached. This second 
subject is, we think, the best in the first movement. 
Later we get this theme varied, and with a florid bass, 
and followed by an episode in triplets (crotchet). 
With the short working out of this episode the first 
portion of the opening movement closes. We are, 
after the repeat, led off with an episode, built more or 
less upon the leading motive. The working out of 


this is extremely tantalising, for we are led through 
so many different keys, and there is so little that is 
straightforward, that by the time relief (in the shape of 
the counter theme, now in B flat major) arrives we 
are almost too bewildered to appreciate it. The coda 
is a short one, consisting only of some twelve bars. 
The leading theme of the Scherzo commences in E 
flat minor, and ends in F sharp minor, and is followed 
by a continuation on the theme, of which chromatic 
successions of chords of the sixth are a prominent 
feature. At the piti lento we have a trio in G flat 
major, which after some sixty-four bars comes to a 
full close on the tonic. After a short continuation of 
this the first section of the Scherzo is repeated. 

Of the Marche Funebre we need not speak further 
than to say that it is by far the most consistent and 
beautiful movement of the Sonata. As to the state of 
mind in which the composer was when he wrote the 
final presto, we do not hazard an opinion. It is most 
curious music, and musically speaking has not the 
remotest connection, thematic or otherwise, with any- 
thing in the Sonata. With regard to this finale, 
which is a kind of unharmonised toccata, Chopin 


stated in one of his letters to Fontana that the left 
hand unisono with the right hand was supposed to 
be gossiping after the march, which Mr. Niecks says 
he takes to mean that 'after the burial the good 
neighbours took to discussing the merits of the 
departed, not without a spice of backbiting.' Perhaps 
so ; but if such were the case, the ' backbiting ' is 
certainly more forcibly expressed in the music than 
is the ' discussion of merits,' which fact augurs badly 
either for the mourners or the deceased. 

The second Sonata in B minor was not published 
until some five years later. It is certainly the 
most interesting of all, and there is a wealth of 
material and a lavishness in its use which distinctly 
shows what a store its composer possessed. All 
the melodies are in themselves beautiful, but they 
are also entirely independent, and have no affinity 
with one another. The musical matter of which 
the opening bars of the first movement con- 
sist is very diffuse. Forcibly marked rhythms 
and rushing chromatic passages prevail until we 
reach the melody in D major, which forms the 
second subject, if indeed we can be said to have 


already had a first subject proper. As the work pro- 
ceeds it becomes more intelligible, and the melody is 
supremely lovely, while the elaboration and general 
handling of the subsidiary portion of the second 
subject is replete with finesse and harmonic cunning. 
The Scherzo itself is delightful ; the contrast attained 
by the sostenuto portion in B major, coming after the 
delicate quaver figures of the first section, is highly 
effective. In the third movement the composer 
wanders considerably, with the result that the effect 
attained is that of an improvisation rather than of a 
definitely designed portion of a whole. The introduc- 
tory bars of the finale are almost cacophonous ; and 
after the eighth bar we are launched once more upon 
a sea of trouble in the form of an agitato movement 
(f ) ; which after a while gives way to some delicate 
descending scale passages in semiquavers, followed 
each time by a plaintive quaver phrase, which breathes 
nothing but sorrow. Notice further on the variety of 
effect obtained by the change from the two beats of 
three quavers to the two beats of four quavers each, in 
the accompaniment of the first subject, which con- 
tinues until we again reach the descending semiquavers 


with the querulous bars intervening. The right hand 
is now entirely occupied with the undulating semi- 
quaver passages untill we finally come upon the 
initial theme, which, after it has been repeated in 
octaves, leads us into the key of B major, in which 
the work closes. 

The last and perhaps the most unsatisfactory of 
the Sonatas is the Op. 65, in G minor, for violoncello 
and piano. On reading this composition we can 
only pause and wonder why the musician expended 
so much labour and time on work which must have 
been uncongenial to him, and for which he was in no 
way fitted. A pure romanticist was Frederic Chopin, 
and as a consequence his best music is his programme- 
music : that is, music in which the ' programme ' is an 
emotional schedule expressive of the ideas and feel- 
ings within the composer when he wrote. Could 
anything be more antagonistic to the classic form of 
the sonata ? Consequently we find him here, as in 
the Concertos, continually endeavouring to repress 
the ideas within him which were clamouring for 
utterance, as unsuitable to the form in which he was 
writing. The music given to us by Beethoven in his 


pianoforte sonatas is 'abstract music/ whereas 
undoubtedly the real meaning of such of Chopin's 
works as the Ballades, Polonaises, Preludes, or 
Scherzos is reserved for him who can find the key to 
their emotional basis. That this ' programme-music ' 
is superior to abstract music we do not for one 
moment imply, for it is a subject for much discussion; 
but that it was the means by which Chopin best 
expressed himself is patent to all who have given 
themselves diligently to the study of his work. It 
is sufficiently manifest that Chopin's nature rendered 
him incapable of the creation of music wholly for its 
own sake. It of necessity must take the colour of 
his emotions at the time it was written. Therefore it 
is obvious that it is in some measure to his life we 
must look before we can arrive at the full understand- 
ing of the composer's meaning. Yet it must not be 
thought that Chopin wished his music to be valued 
for the arbitrary meaning attached to it. Had he 
written it with this idea, we venture to say the result 
would have been to him disastrous. It was merely 
the nature of the man to reflect in his music his life, 
and the thoughts which had their creation in the 


episodes of that life. He was no Wagner. He was 
no Berlioz. Had he, as we have said, expected his 
hearers to trace the source of his inspiration and to 
gather one and the same meaning from any one 
composition, he would have dismally failed in his 
object; for, no matter how poetically suggestive music 
may be to the man who created it, it will in all 
probability convey a hundred different impressions to 
as many listeners, each impression being of necessity 
coloured by the individuality of its recipient. What 
we mean is that Chopin used his poetic-basis more as 
a means than an end. He expressed his thoughts as 
he wrote, and subordinated them to nothing ; whereas 
the composer who writes ' absolute ' music, such as is 
in its place in the sonata, is he whose melodic, har- 
monic, and rhythmical senses once stirred, can evolve 
sounds beautiful and interesting in themselves, from 
out which again arise developments almost endless 
in proportion to the musical instinct, invention, and 
command of technique of the composer; and the 
whole of which he subordinates to the form in which 
he is writing. That he have an imagination is of 
course as essential in the one case as in the other ; but 


the fact remains that what is art with the one is not 
so for the other, for it has not the same aims, nor does 
it rest upon the same foundation. And when we 
have regard to this, can we wonder at or question the 
truth of (at all events as regards the Sonatas) Liszt's 
judgment when he said that they contained 'plus de 
volonte que d 'inspiration ' ? 


We have now reached the time which saw Chopin's 
power not only as a composer, but as a pianist, at 
its zenith. And although he is known to have de- 
tested playing in public, he, nevertheless, recognised 
the necessity of occasionally playing at a concert as 
a concomitant of his position. Thus, in April 1841. 
we find him giving a concert at Pleyel's rooms. The 
audience seems to have been a semi-private one, con- 
sisting, for the most part, of his intimate friends, 
pupils, and pupils' friends ; whilst amongst the 
artists we find the names of Madame Damoreau- 
Cinti, an operatic artist of the first water, and 
Heinrich Ernst, the violinist. Liszt describes the 
audience in this [wise : — ' Last Monday, at eight 
o'clock in the evening, Mr. Pleyel's rooms were 
brilliantly lit up; numerous carriages kept bringing 


to the foot of the staircase, covered with carpet and 
perfumed with flowers, the most elegant women, the 
most fashionable men, the most celebrated artists, 
the wealthiest financiers ; in fact, a whole elite of 
society, — a whole aristocracy of birth, fortune, talent, 
and beauty.' Chopin, taking advantage of his refined 
audience, selected for performance at this concert his 
more ideal and spirituel works, such as the Preludes, 
Studies, Nocturnes, and Mazurkas ; and seems to 
have had his audience en rapport with him through- 
out the concert. Liszt tells us that two of the 
Etudes and a Ballade were encored, and that, had 
it not been out of consideration for Chopin, who 
seemed so weak and fatigued, they would not have 
rested content until every item had been repeated. 
However, it is gratifying to know that the success 
of the concert was sufficient to encourage Chopin to 
repeat it within the twelve months. This second 
concert took place in the following February, and 
amongst the artists on this occasion we find the 
names of Madame Viardot Garcia and Franchomme, 
the 'cellist. It was in every way as successful as its 
predecessor, Chopin entirely charming his audience 


with his renderings of such of his works as the 
Ballade in A flat, Prelude in D flat, four Nocturnes, 
and three of his Mazurkas. One and all were 
astonished at the marvellous effects produced by 
Chopin from his piano. The delicacy of his touch, 
the nimbleness of his fingers, and the perfect and 
minute technique, added to the personality infused 
into all he did, gained for him the highest rank as 
a pianist. 

From amid the many distinctive features of 
Chopin's pianoforte 'style,' two shine out very pro- 
minently. They are the employment of the tempo 
rwbato, and the revolution in the use of the pedals. 
From the literal meaning of tempo rubato, which is 
' robbed time,' we do not get the full significance of 
the expression. Indeed, it has been the receptacle 
of severally different interpretations, according to the 
ideas of the several composers who have used it. 
And we find that Chopin's intention when employing 
it differs considerably from that of other musicians. 
But the meaning of the phrase as he uses it is in- 
dicated pretty clearly in his method of writing, for 
no matter how freely he may write for one hand, 


the other is invariably employed to mark the regular 
beat and rhythm. Many critics, in speaking of 
Chopin's playing, have taken particular exception to 
this 'exaggerated phrasing,' but Chopin never in- 
tended that the rhythm should be in any way 
obscured by indulgence in the tempo rubato. He 
no doubt originally conceived the idea from the 
recitatives of the Italian composers of his time. For 
instance, glance for one moment at the recitative 
music introduced in the Larghetto movement of the 
F minor Concerto, and also at the Etude in C sharp 
minor of Op. 25, which commences with the following 
phrase of recitative : — 

The requisite interpretation of this phrase could not 
be given by any other instrument than the piano, and 
it is perhaps one of the best examples of purely in- 
strumental music as a means of unfettered emotional 
expression. Yet it would, if played in any strict time, 
entirely lose the reason for its existence. Conse- 


quently, its right interpretation must be left, if not 
entirely, to a very large extent to the instinct of the 

Liszt has given us quite a true reflection of his 
own nature in the construction which he put upon the 
phrase tempo rubato. He says : ' Suppose a tree bent 
by the wind, the wind stirs up life amongst the leaves, 
whilst between them pass the rays of the sun, and 
a trembling light is the result : this is what Chopin 
means by the rubato! This is just what one would 
have expected from Liszt, very fanciful and akin to 
poetical; but it brings us no nearer to the gist of 
the thing. In points like these it is that we specially 
feel the loss of the 'pianoforte-method' which Chopin 
engaged himself upon in the latter years of his life, 
but which was, unfortunately, together with many 
letters and other valuable relics, burnt. It is 
difficult, nay, impossible, to find a word which will 
convey fully Chopin's meaning in this respect. Dr. 
Hanslick has referred to it as 'a morbid unsteadi- 
ness of tempo,' which is unnecessarily severe. It 
undoubtedly means much more than the mere 
'robbing' of one note and giving to the next, and 


it is with a genius of the genre of that of Chopin 
that we specially feel the inadequacy of the present 
system of musical signs to fully convey to us the 
full beauty of his conceptions. As Liszt may be 
said to have developed the powers of touch, so may 
Chopin be said to have fully revealed the possibilities 
of the pedal as an adjunct to pianoforte playing. 
Pianoforte pedals made their first appearance in this 
country towards the latter end of the last century,, 
when they were introduced by the famous makers, 
Messrs. Broadwood. It was reserved for Chopin and 
Liszt to demonstrate their true value. Hitherto they 
had been only used by pianists to obtain contrasts 
of piano and forte, and to Chopin especially is due 
the revelation of their use as a means for the pro- 
duction of an ever- varying tone colour. For instance, 
the extended harmonies so freely indulged in by 
Chopin lose half their beauty when deprived of the 
assistance of the pedal ; for, if judiciously used, we 
are able by its aid to increase the richness and 
beauty of the chord, allowing the harmonies to 
vibrate with the fundamental tone. Again, for the 
purpose of gaining an exceptionally legato effect, 



Chopin frequently used the pedal, immediately after 
striking the chord, in this manner : — 

Marche funebre 


3 J 

L« m •_# _d ._ ._ 

aLfer*-"-*— ^ m- 


I 1 
.« • #_d_ 
— p- 

— I # 1 p- 

-j # a p- 

-F- - -k- - -F- - -b- 

p^. jJ^a_J^a_J^lJ^ g_J^iJ^3_J^_£ 

^ r ~" 



l~ 1 
* p- 



— p- 



j i- 


Pedal. _3_ 

r : 


— i 



p ' p 

— p— 






f 1 

-P ! — P— -!— •- 

Here we have indicated the pressing down of the 
pedal by the quaver note and the raising of the 
same by the quaver rest, on the line below. We 
are, of course, alluding now to the right, or what is 


commonly called ' loud ' pedal. Specially noticeable, 
also, is the use made by Chopin of the ' soft ' pedal, 
and the combination of both pedals. By their aid 
he gave an indefinite charm to many passages, par- 
ticularly to those enharmonic modulations to which 
he was so partial. In such cases he would attain 
a kind of 'veiled' effect, considerably idealising 
passages which, in the hands of some performers, 
might have sounded unsympathetic, if not harsh. 
Thus it was that his favourite piano was a Pleyel, 
mainly on account of their touch and pedal action, 
which, Liszt says, 'enabled him to draw from them 
sounds which one might have believed to belong to 
those harmonicas of which Germany has retained 
the monopoly.' How he would have revelled, had 
he lived to-day, in the pianofortes of Bltithner or 
Stein way ! 

Amongst the pupils of Chopin at this time we find 
such well-known English names as Brinley Kichards 
and Lindsay Sloper. He also had several trans- 
actions relating to the publication here of his 
works with Messrs. Wessel (now Messrs. Ashdown) 
and Cramer and Beale and Co. ; whilst amongst 


his publishers for France and Germany respec- 
tively were MM. Schlesinger and Co., Troupenas 
and Cie, Pleyel, Richault, Breitkopf and Hartel (to 
whose edition of his complete works we have gone 
for this work), Schott's Sonne, Schuberth and Co., 
and Gebethner and Wolff of Warsaw. The first 
appearance of his work published in England was 
in or about the year 1836. He always endeavoured 
to publish such works as he from time to time 
brought out simultaneously in the three countries ; 
but reference to the dates of their several appear- 
ances shows that he was seldom enabled to do so. 
The years 1842-47 were highly prolific, for during 
that time there appeared all the works whose Opus 
numbers range from 51 to 65. These include naanyL 
of the Nocturnes, Mazurkas, Yalses, besides the 
Berceuse in D flat major. x During these years he 
divided his time between Paris and Nohant, with 
the exception of 1840. As to his whereabouts at 
that time we have no authentic facts ; but as 
Madame Sand did not go to Nohant, it may be 
pretty safely assumed that he remained in Parish 
During this time there is no doubt that Madame 


Sand was most assiduous in her attention to and 
thought for Chopin, and no matter in what light 
we may view her later actions towards him we 
can, but in justice, give her the credit of her devo- 
tion to the artist. And although we are not in 
the least inclined to view her later attitude in any 
lenient light, yet we cannot fail to see that her 
sex, her anomalous position and freedom of ex- 
pression and action did not in any degree tend to 
soften the tongues of those whose animosity she 
provoked. Inasmuch as she kept his accounts, 
wrote many of his letters, and tended him with the 
greatest of devotion in the many trying times when 
the disease laid him up, she is worthy of some 
praise. Moreover, her care for his physical wants 
was only a part of the benefits which he derived 
from her friendship. In her house he passed many 
happy hours ; he would frequently drop in and play 
or talk as he felt inclined, and was sure of being 
undisturbed. Then, again, the quiet country life 
which he passed at Nohant was, although frequently 
uncongenial to him, highly beneficial in his state 
of health. Apart from society acquaintances, the only 



other friends at whose house he cared to visit to 
any extent were Madame Leo and her husband. 
And yet we find Chopin speaking of this couple in 
his letters in a manner which savours of nothing so 
much as ingratitude. No doubt they sometimes 
formed a source of irritation to his highly strung 
disposition ; but even granting this, when we consider 
the kindness shown him by the banker and his wife, 
we cannot but come to the conclusion that he fre- 
quently showed himself quite insensible to the many 
kindnesses he received. Xor was it only with re- 
spect to Madame Leo and her husband that he 
was remiss. We have seen of what invaluable 
service Fontana was to Chopin, and the enormous 
amount of personal trouble to which he put him- 
self on his friend's behalf. Yet we very rarely find 
in his later letters any expression of gratitude, nor 
do we find the composer returning these obliga- 
tions in the many small ways in which he could 
have done so, beyond the fact of on one occasion 
dedicating two of his Polonaises, Op. 40, to Fontana. 
And this caused him no personal effort. He was 
not the man to put himself out in any way for his 


friends. Therefore, when we weigh all these things 
in the balance, we cannot but think that, albeit 
what fault there was in their connection lay on the 
shoulders of the novelist, yet she on her side had 
some reasonable ground for complaint. 

Let us for one moment consider some of the things 
which Madame Sand says of him in her Histoire. 
She complains that ' He accepted nothing in reality. 
This was his vice and his virtue, his grandeur and his 
misery. Implacable to the least blemish he had an 
immense enthusiasm for the least light ; his imagina- 
tion frequently seeing in it a sun.' Again, she says : 
' At no time was the friendship of Chopin for me a 
refuge in sadness.' Moreover, we know that Chopin 
latterly showed a great aversion to the children of 
Madame Sand. That these defects in Chopin's 
character did not have their creation in the brain 
of the novelist is in some degree proved by their sub- 
stantiation by Liszt. If we set ourselves to find 
excuse for them, we might throw the burden upon 
his nationality, for the Poles are essentially a nation 
with whom a sense of individual importance and 
gratification is not the least noticeable characteristic. 


Such, however, is not our intention, although we 
admit that if this were innate, it was probably more 
prominently developed in the later years of his life 
by the state of his health. 

But to pass once more from the man to his 
work. The principal groups of pianoforte com- 
position now remaining for discussion are the Im- 
promptus and Waltzes. Of the first named we 
have four. Three were published during the com- 
poser's lifetime, while the fourth is a posthumous 
publication. Their ( )pus numbers are Op. 29, 36, 
51, and (>6. The Op. 2!) in A flat is one of the 
most spontaneous and beautiful of any of his works. 
Especially so is the opening phrase. In the first 
two bars one is struck by the peculiar whirring 
effect obtained by the use of the D natural against 
the dominant E flat in the left hand. 



Wagner has used the Bame means for his 'Spinning 
Wheel Chorus 1 in the Flying Dutchman (we quote 

from Liszt's pianoforte transcription). 

1 iyigg - 

• # 

te|fe ♦ 

On reaching the sostenuto in F minor, we have 
a Great contrast ; the movement here becoming more 
akin to the Nocturne. Notice at the closing bars 

of this section, just before the re-entry of the initial 
phrase, the effects gained by the composer by the 
use of the dominant harmony of F, leading the ear to 
expect the tonic, instead of which the dominant seventh 
chord is left unresolved, and after this bar we are led 
straight into the first subject in A flat, in this wise. 

&^= --z- 

The effect is deliciously surprising, and certainly in 


its place in an Impromptu. The first movement 
of the second Impromptu in F sharp major is also 
in the Nocturne style, and tonic and dominant 
harmony prevail for the most part. Especially 
beautiful is the phrase commencing at bar 30, and 
continuing until we reach the movement in D 
natural. This reminds us somewhat in style of the 
middle section of the Polonaise in A flat, Op. 53. 
The theme assumes an exceptionally bold character 
when accompanied a few bars later by the bass figure 
in octaves. Perhaps exception might be taken by 
purists to the last two bars of this part leading into 
the key of F major. We now have the original 
theme slightly modified with an accompaniment of 
quaver triplets. The composer then indulges in 
elaborate ornamentation for the right hand, while 
the left hand plays a melodious inner and bass part. 
The Impromptu closes with the phrase alluded to 
at bar 30. Its whole tone is softer, and more cogita- 
tive than that of the preceding one, while in parts 
it certainly seems to be descriptive of definite events 
in the mind of the composer when he wrote it. 

No. 3 opens brightly, and is more similar in its 


' manner ' to the first in A flat. In this first move- 
ment we again find the composer more or less in his 
Nocturne style, while the sostenuto involuntarily 
calls up recollections of the Etude in C sharp minor. 
It is by no means the best of the group. This brings 
us to the end of the Impromptus proper. 

The fourth, commonly called Fantasia-Impromptu, 
was, as we have before noted, published after the 
composer's death by his friend Fontana. It is one of 
the most delightful of his conceptions. The opening 
allegro agitato, with its rushing semiquaver figure 
and quaver triplet accompaniment, breathes spon- 
taneity in every bar, while the largo portion in D 
flat contains some of the master's choicest thoughts. 
It is so well known, and such a favourite in our 
concert halls, as to need no detailed description. 
But we cannot refrain from noticing the closing 
phrase of eight bars where the melody — previously 
given at the largo in D flat — rhythmically and melo- 
dically modified is taken up in the left hand, while 
the right hand accompanies with the semiquaver 
figures pianissimo. It is one of the most beautiful 
effects to be found in his works. 


Before proceeding to notice the Waltzes, we pro- 
pose glancing for a moment at some of the miscel- 
laneous compositions named in the last chapter, such 
as the Tarantella, Op. 43; the Allegro de Concert, 
Op. 46 ; and the Fantaisie, Op. 49. Of the form in 
which Stephen Heller so excelled the Op. 43 is the 
only sample which we have from Chopin, and that 
we have this is no doubt due to his admiration for 
Rossini's Tarantella (soirees musicales). He fre- 
quently refers to this composition in his letters, and 
the details of its publication seem to have caused 
him more annoyance than any of the other works. 
To agree in toto with Schumann's verdict of this 
composition would be not to give the work its due, 
for, says Schumann, ' Nobody can call that music' 
Nevertheless, it cannot be said to be wholly suc- 
cessful. The tarantella is one of the very few dances 
which are of real Italian origin, and receives its name 
from the province of Taranto, its native part. But 
in this Tarantella of Chopin's we have more of 
Spanish colour than Italian. Especially is this the 
case in the middle portion of the work, which is 
perhaps the best. It is certainly more Spanish in 


tone than the Bolero, Op. 19. But in connection 
with the Allegro, Op. 46, we are certainly disposed 
to accept the statement of Schumann as correct. 
He declared that it was originally written for piano- 
forte and orchestra. Certain it is that no one could 
play the first portion of the Avork and not be struck 
by the genre of the music. It is undoubtedly the 
same as that which stands for orchestral music in 
the Concertos ; but in the second portion of the piece 
this is not so, the elaborate passage work being 
eminently that of the piano. The work, as a whole, 
does not possess any great poetic beauty. But what 
a contrast we find in the Fantaisie, Op. 49. The 
very title predicts to him who knows Chopin what 
he may expect, as much as does the Sonata in the 
opposite direction. Here we find the composer 
glorying in his emancipation. We open with a bold 
phrase of two bars in octaves. This, with its re- 
sponsive phrase, forms the matter for the first twenty 
bars. Nevertheless, we cannot refrain from pointing 
out the very unsatisfactory effect of the transition 
contained in the last two bars here ; — the nineteenth 
and twentieth from the commencement. 


t:# ■#-:■# 

k — L -^^t^p^S-ts-h 1 

b-# * ft* P Hf- 





3— 4— r-' 

But such things as these are a thousand times atoned 
for by what follows. Especially would we draw 
attention to the syncopated agitato melody com- 
mencing at bar 67, and the even more beautiful 
portion commencing some ten bars later in A flat. 
This is one of the most spontaneous passages in 
the work. Some twenty -four bars after quitting 
this theme we come to a very effective pianoforte 
passage of octaves in contrary motion, and very 
similar to those in the third Ballade {vide bars 26 
and following few bars). Notice some twelve bars 
later the even march-like music, with its firmly 
moving bass and plain -chord progessions. Later 
on we have a repetition of the phrase in A flat, to 
which we alluded, this time in the key of G flat. 
There is now nothing to call for particular notice 


until we reach the lento sostenuto, where we get 
a change in both time and key. This section in 
B major continues now for twenty-four bars, and 
the musical matter which follows presents nothing 
striking until we come to the adagio recitative. 
With this the work practically closes, the musical 
matter which follows consisting only of some twelve 
bars of ascending quaver triplets. Amongst all these 
works in the somewhat larger forms essayed by 
Chopin we are inclined to give this a prominent 
place, for the composer never seems to lose grip of 
his subject, as is so frequently the case in the other 
works of the same class. The whole handling of the 
material is more masterly, and we do not experience 
that feeling of unrest to nearly so great an extent 
in this Fantasia, while the material itself is, as is ever 
the case with Chopin, original and beautiful. 


We now come to one of the most eventful years of 
Chopin's life — 1847. Exactly ten years previously 
he had made the acquaintance of which this year was 
to see the severance. Had he been spared to us for 
another twenty years, it would have been difficult to 
say which event was the more important of the two, 
either to him or to us. But with the latter event only 
have we now to deal. As the accounts of this bitter 
ending of so much affection differ so vastly, and are 
so biassed either in favour of one or the other of the 
parties, we can only consider the statements of facts 
which are beyond doubt, and form our own view of 
the case, from what we have already seen of the 
lives and characters of those concerned. Perhaps it 
may be best to consider the lady's statement first. In 
her Histoire, Madame Sand puts forward as the reason 
for her action Chopin's dislike of, and disagreement 


with, her children, and that on her intervention on 
their behalf, a quarrel ensued, upon which they parted. 
This, so far as we know, is the only plea advanced by 
the novelist. From this, the assertions of such a 
friend of the principals as Franchomme, the 'cellist, 
differ widely. Mr. Frederick Niecks tells us that he 
obtained from him the assurance, both by letter and 
word of mouth, that the rupture between Chopin and 
Madame Sand came about in this way: — 'In June 
1847 Chopin was making ready to start for Nohant, 
when he received a letter from Madame Sand to the 
effect that she had just turned out her daughter and 
son-in-law, and that if he [Chopin] received them in 
his house, all would be over between them. I was 
with Chopin at the time the letter arrived, and he 
said to me, " They have only me ; should I close my 
door upon them ? No, I shall not do it ! " and he did 
not do it, and yet he knew that this creature whom 
he adored would not forgive him for it. Poor friend, 
how I have seen him suffer ! ' 

Surely the one explanation is as unsatisfactory as 
the other. It seems incredible, and indeed to us im- 
possible, to believe that either of these trivial circum- 


stances should have been a reason sufficient in itself to 
bring about a separation between these two, who had 
for ten long years been inseparable. And we may 
pretty confidently assume that such was not the case. 
Madame Sand had at this time just married her 
daughter Solange, to Clesinger the sculptor, with 
whom, according to the evidence of her letters, she 
appears to have been much pleased, and to have 
highly approved of the match. And it is equally 
difficult to believe that she turned the dauohter and 
her husband out of her house, under the circum- 
stances which Franchomme gives as her reason. 
Here is the story referred to : — 

It appears that Madame Clesinger had not been 
treated with what her husband deemed her due in 
the matter of courtesy by a gentleman staying in the 
house at Nohant, the slight singled out for excep- 
tion being that, one morning, the gentleman passed 
Madame Clesinger without removing his hat. On his 
remissness Clesinsfer demanded that he should 
straightway apologise and salute Madame Clesinger. 
On his refusal to do so, Clesinger is stated to have 
struck him, and Madame Sand being a witness of the 


whole proceeding, rushed downstairs and forthwith 
boxed the ears of the irate Clesinger, and turned him 
and his wife out of the house. Were we dealing with 
children, and the nursery our scene, we might accept 
this story. But when Ave think that the parties con- 
cerned were men and women of the world, it is 
laughable, and to accept it seriously, as sufficient 
reason for Madame Sand's action towards her own 
daughter, impossible. On looking carefully into both 
cases, we can only come to one conclusion, and that 
is, that, as regards her separation from Chopin, she 
was only waiting some suitable opportunity to bring 
into effect what she was inwardly wishing and longing 
for. There is no doubt she was weary of him, tired 
of nursing him, and of his increasing irritability, and 
seeing that this was so, either of the reasons alleged 
for the separation above would have been equally 
suitable. Therefore it matters little to us which of 
them she chose as a means of bringing to pass what 
she wished. It has also been stated, on good authority, 
that Madame Sand was jealous of her daughter's 
frequent visits to Chopin, and even if such were the 
case, it is certainly no more a feasible reason for her 


action, both in turning out her daughter and forbidding 
Chopin to receive her, than the trivial story related 
by Franchomme. But be that as it may, in 1847 
Chopin abruptly parted with George Sand, and never 
spoke to her again. In March of the next year they 
met at the house of a mutual friend, but although 
Madame Sand made an advance to speak to the man 
she had cast off, he did not respond, and passed her by 
in silence. About this time there appeared a novel 
from the pen of George Sand, entitled Lucrezia 
Floriani. In this work the novelist has been accused 
of representing Chopin to the world in the guise of 
one of its principal characters, that of Prince Karol ; 
in fact, the charge brought against her has in some 
cases been that the character was written with 
premeditated intent to bring about a quarrel between 
Chopin and herself. Chopin's Polish biographer, 
Karasowski, further asserts that ' out of refined 
cruelty, the proof-sheets were handed to Chopin with 
the request to correct the misprints/ and goes on to 
relate how the children of the novelist taunted the 
musician by saying to him : ' M. Chopin, do you know 
that Prince Karol is meant for you ? ' Against all 


these accusations Madame Sand tries hard to defend 
herself. She says : — ' I have drawn in Prince Karol the 
character of a man determined in his nature, exclusive 
in his sentiments, exclusive in his exigencies. Chopin 
was not such. Nature does not like art, design, no 
matter how realistic it may be. Moreover, Prince 
Karol is not an artist. He is a dreamer and nothing 
more; having no genius, he has not the rights of 
genius. He is, therefore, a character more true than 
amiable, and the portrait is so little that of a great 
artist such as Chopin, that he himself on reading the 
manuscript had not the slightest inclination to deceive 
himself, he, who was in other matters so suspicious.' 
She goes on to say that it was only on the pointing 
out to him by friends, or rather enemies, that he con- 
cluded that in the character was intended a portrait 
of himself. But her arguments cannot be said, to use 
a colloquialism, ' to hold water.' It seems to us that, 
despite the imagination with which the novelist has 
surrounded the character, there is quite sufficient of 
reality to enable anyone to identify Prince Karol 
with Frederic Chopin. That the character was 
drawn and moulded by her intimate knowledge of 



Chopin's seems certain. But to say that, in the first 
instance, it was written with the deliberate intent of 
exposing his weaknesses, and thus causing him pain 
would perhaps be unjust without further proof than 
that which exists; nevertheless, it is much to be 
regretted that Madame Sand's good taste did not 
prove strong enough to prevent her choosing her 
most intimate companion as the subject upon which 
to exercise, either for the benefit of art or the 
public, her powers of analysis and imagination. The 
result of all this was the immediate aggravation of 
his disease. He felt his treatment by this woman 
acutely. This it was in great measure, coupled with 
the political disturbances which now took place in 
Paris, that decided him to put into execution his 
long-planned project of again visiting England. 

Before, however, we follow his life in this 
country, we must not omit to notice the concert 
given by Chopin in Paris previous to his departure. 
This took place in February 1848, at Pleyel's Booms, 
and was in some respects the most important of all 
the concerts given by him. The programme included 
such of his works as the Barcarolle and Berceuse, 


and several of the smaller poems, Nocturnes, Pre- 
ludes, and Etudes. We also find the names of 
MM. Alard and Franchomme, while the vocalists 
were Mile, di Mondi (a niece of Pauline-Viardot), 
and M. Roger, the tenor. So successful in every way 
was this concert, that it was arranged that it should 
be followed by another in the following month. 
This, however, was not to be, owing to the outbreak 
of the Revolution, which occurred only a week after 
this first concert. 

In 1847 Chopin published the last of his 
works, the G minor Sonata for 'cello and piano 
which we have already discussed. In April 1848 he 
arrived in London, taking rooms in Bentinck Street, 
which, after a few days, he left, going from there 
to Dover Street. His works had preceded him here, 
and he received in consequence an enthusiastic wel- 
come. He went much into society, and played in 
private a good deal. The first house at which he was 
heard was that of Lady Blessington in Kensington, 
which was a rendezvous of many distinguished 
literary and musical celebrities. Later we hear of a 
dinner at which, unfortunately, he was unable to be 


present, given by Macready in his honour, to which 
were invited — Thackeray, Mrs. Proctor, Berlioz, and 
Sir Julius Benedict, while at the house of the 
Duchess of Sutherland the last-named musician 
played with Chopin a duet of Mozart's. Writing 
from Dover Street to his friend Gutmann in Paris, 
he says : ' Here I am at last, settled in this whirlpool 
of London. It is only a few days since I began to 
breathe, for it is only a few days since the sun 
showed itself. . . . Erard was charming ; he sent 
me a piano. I have besides a Broadwood and a 
Pleyel, which makes three, but as yet I do not find 
time to play them. ... A proposal has been 
made to me to play at the Philharmonic, but I would 
rather not. I shall apparently finish off, after play- 
ing at Court before the Queen, by giving a matintfe, 
limited to a number of persons, at a private 

He seems to have been charmed with the per- 
formances of Italian opera which were being given 
at this time at Covent Garden and Her Majesty's 
Theatres, and speaks in the most glowing terms of 
the singing of Madame Jenny Lind. In another 


letter he says : ' I have made Jenny Lind's personal 
acquaintance ; when, a few days afterwards, I paid 
her a visit, she received me in the most amiable 
manner, and sent me an excellent " stall " for the 
opera.' The high opinion formed by Chopin of 
the singer was fully reciprocated by her, and she 
felt confident that he was not to blame in the 
rupture with Madame Sand ; but as this is only the 
opinion of a woman who was very favourably im- 
pressed by Chopin, and who had only the advantage 
of the acquaintance of one of the parties, we can 
only take it for what it is worth. The private 
matinees given in London by Chopin were at the 
houses of Mrs. Sartoris (formerly Adelaide Kemble) 
in Eaton Place, and Lord Falmouth in St. James's 
Square, where he was assisted by Madame Viardot- 
Garcia, and Mile, di Mondi. 

In connection with these concerts we cannot 
do better than quote at length from Mr. Chorley's 
criticisms in the Athenaeum at the time. Of 
the first, which took place on June 23d, he 
says : — ' M. Chopin gave his audience yesterday 
week an hour and a half of such musical enjoyment 


as only great beauty, combined with great novelty, 
can command. We have had by turns this great 
player and the other great composer — we have been 
treated to the smooth, the splendid, the sentimental, 
the severe in style, upon the pianoforte one after 
the other. M. Chopin has proved to us that the 
instrument is capable of yet another " mode " — one 
in which delicacy, picturesqueness, elegance, and 
humour may be blended so as to produce that rare 
thing, a new delight. His treatment of the piano- 
forte is peculiar, and though we know that a system 
is not to be " explained in one word," we will men- 
tion a point or two so entirely novel, that even the 
distant amateur may in part conceive how, from 
such motions an original style of performance, and 
thence of composition, must inevitably result. 
Whereas other pianists have proceeded on the 
intention of equalising the power of the fingers, 
M. Chopin's plans are arranged so as to utilise their 
natural inequality of power, and, if carried out, 
provide varieties of expression not to be attained by 
those with whom evenness is the first excellence. 
Allied with this fancy are M. Chopin's peculiar 


mode of treating the scale and the shake, and his 
manner of sliding with one and the same linger 
from note to note, by way of producing a peculiar 
legato, and of passing the third over the fourth finger. 
All these innovations are art and part of his music 
as properly rendered, and as enacted by himself they 
charm by an ease and grace which, though super- 
fine, are totally distinct from affectation. After the 
" hammer and tongs " work on the pianoforte, to 
which we have of late years been accustomed, the 
delicacy of M. Chopin's tone, and the elasticity of 
his passages are delicious to the ear. He makes a 
free use of tempo rubato; leaning about within his 
bars more than any player we recollect, but still 
subject to a presiding sentiment of measure, such 
as presently habituates the ear to the liberties taken. 
In music not his own we happen to know he can 
be as staid as a metronome : while his mazurkas, 
etc., lose half their characteristic wildness if played 
without a certain freak and license — impossible to 
imitate, but irresistible if the player at all feel the 
music. This we have always fancied while reading 
Chopin's works ; we are now sure of it after 


hearing hiin perforin them himself. The pieces 
which M. Chopin gave at his matinee were — 
Notturni, Studies, La Berceuse (a delicate and 
lulling dream, with that most matter-of-fact sub- 
stratum, a ground bass), two mazurkas, and two 
waltzes. Most of these might be called " gems," 
without misuse of the well worn symbol. Yet, if 
fantasy be allowed to characterise what is essentially 
fantastic, they are not so much gems as pearls — 
pearls in the changeful delicacy of their colour — 
in occasional irregularities of form, not destructive, 
however, of symmetry — pearls in their not being 
the products of health and strength. They will 
not displace and supersede other of our musical 
treasures, being different in tone and quality to any 
possessions we already enjoy ; but inasmuch as art 
is not final, nor invention to be narrowed within 
the limits of experience, no musician, be he ever so 
straight-laced or severe — or vowed to his own 
school — can be indifferent to their exquisite and 
peculiar charm. It is to be hoped that IT. Chopin 
will play again, and the next time some of his 
more developed compositions — such as Ballades, 


Scherzi, etc., if not his Sonatas and Concerti. Few 
of his audience will be at all contented by a 
single hearing.' We quote at this length advisedly, 
as we cannot do better than accept the opinion of 
a musician and critic who had the good fortune to be 
present, especially when he is a critic of discernment, 
such as was Mr. Chorley. Speaking of the second 
matinee in the same journal, he says : — ' M. Chopin 
played better at his second than at his first 
matinee — not with more delicacy (that could hardly 
be), but with more force and brio. Two among 
what may be called M. Chopin's more serious com- 
positions were especially welcome to us — his 
Scherzo in B flat minor, and his Study in C sharp 
minor. The former we have long admired for its 
quaintness, grace, and remarkable variety — though 
it is guilty of a needlessly crude and hazardous 
modulation or two ; the latter, again, is a master- 
piece — original, expressive, and grand. No in- 
dividual genius, we are inclined to theorise, is one- 
sided, however fondly the public is apt to fasten 
upon one characteristic, and disproportionately to 
foster its development ; and if this crotchet be based 


on a sound harmony, M. Chopin could hardly be 
so intimately and exquisitely graceful as he is, if 
he could not on occasion be also grandiose.' 

His physical weakness at this time was very great, 
— so great that he was quite unable to walk upstairs 
unassisted, and at Messrs. Broadwood's establishment, 
where it was necessary for him to ascend a flight of 
stairs in order to reach the room which contained 
the pianoforte intended for his use at the concert, 
two members of the firm actually carried him. 
What he must have felt and suffered at this time 
we can judge from his letters. Writing to his friend 
Grzymala, he says : ' I cannot be sadder than I am, 
for real joy I have not felt for a long time. Indeed, 
I feel nothing at all ; I only vegetate, waiting 
patiently for my end.' 

Shortly after this, at the invitation of some friends 
(Lord Torphichen, brother-in-law of Miss Stirling, his 
pupil), he left London for Scotland, and in Edin- 
burgh he gave a concert at the Hopetoun Rooms, 
Queen Street, — Calder House, the residence of Lord 
Torphichen, being only some twelve miles from that 
city. For the concerts given by Chopin in Scotland 


the piano was sent by Messrs. Broadwood to the care 
of Mr. George Wood (of the firm of Cramer and 
Co.), and the same eminent firm afterwards built 
an iron-framed concert Grand specially for his use, 
which he was destined never to play upon. Mr. 
A. J. Hipkins, who has ever been most courteous 
and willing to throw what light he can upon Chopin's 
second visit to the metropolis, very kindly sent me 
a pamphlet written by himself, and full of interest- 
ing details connected with the history of the progress 
of pianoforte construction. It takes the form of a 
'List of John Broadwood and Sons' exhibits at the 
International Inventions Exhibition,' and can be 
obtained from the firm. On pages 10-13 is a de- 
scription of the piano, specially constructed for 
Chopin by Mr. Henry Fowler Broadwood, and others 
which he also used. 

Even less than that of London does the climate 
of Scotland seem to have suited the invalid. Thus 
does he describe his state : — ' All the morning I 
am quite incapable of doing anything, for no 
sooner have I dressed myself than I feel so ex- 
hausted that I must rest again. After dinner I 


have to sit for two hours with the gentlemen, to 
hear what they say, and to see what they drink. 
I am bored to death, and try to think of something 
else; after that I go to the drawing-room, where I 
need all my energy to rouse myself, for every one is 
anxious to hear me play.' In the latter part of 
August he accepted an engagement to play in 
Manchester, for which he was to receive £60. Of 
this concert there is a critique in the Manchester 
Guardian of August 30th, 1848, which, amongst other 
things, says : — ' Chopin's music and style of perform- 
ance partake of the same leading characteristics — 
refinement rather than vigour — subtle elaboration 
rather than simple comprehensiveness in composition 
— an elegant rapid touch, rather than a firm nervous 
grasp of the instrument. Both his compositions and 
playing appear to be the perfection of chamber music 
— tit to be associated with the most refined instru- 
mental quartette and quartette playing — but wanting 
in breadth and obviousness of design and executive 
power to be effective in a large hall.' 

This criticism, although not strictly correct of 
Chopin in his prime, was no doubt so of him at 


the time, for it was only to be expected that his 
executive power would suffer from the deplorable 
state of his health, and as the disease took firmer 
hold of him, so did his powers diminish. But, on the 
other hand, this lack of executive facility was fully 
compensated for by his exquisite finesse, which 
seemed to increase. Alboni sang at this concert. 
While staying in Manchester, Chopin was the guest 
of Mr. and Mrs. Schwabe, whose house he left, on or 
about the 7 th September, for Glasgow. Here he 
gave a matinee some three weeks later. Although 
he pleased the Glasgow people, we cannot believe 
that at that time he was thoroughly ' understanded 
of them.' Nevertheless, one critic, speaking of his 
playing, showed his discernment by stating what 
was essentially true of Chopin, ' that his playing was 
more fitted for the home circle than the concert 
room.' On the 4th of October we find him giving 
a soire'e musicale at the Hopetoun Rooms in Edin- 
burgh. This was his third and last concert in 
Scotland, and, although surrounded by every kind- 
ness and comfort, neither the life nor climate was 
congenial to him. Of the Scotch people he wrote : — 


1 They are ugly, but, it would seem, good. As a 
compensation, there are charming and, apparently, 
mischievous cattle, good milk, butter, and eggs.' 
While in a letter to his friend and pupil, Gutmann, 
he says: 'I drag myself from one lord to another, 
and from one duke to another. Everywhere I find, 
besides the greatest kindness and hospitality, excel- 
lent pianos and the choicest of pictures and books; 
there are also horses, dogs, interminable dinners, of 
which I avail myself little, and cellars, of which I 
avail myself even less. It is impossible to form 
an idea of all the elaborate comfort which reigns in 
these English mansions. . . . Cholera is coming; 
there is fog in London, and Paris is without a 
President. Therefore it matters not where I go to 
cough and suffocate.' This letter bears the address 
of his last abode in Scotland, — Calder House, near 
Edinburgh, and is dated October 16th, 1848. From 
here, some fourteen days later, Chopin returned to 
London, settling this time at 4 St. James's Place. 
Here we may leave him while we glance at his 
Waltzes, which, although we have left them to the 
last, are by no means least as regards their value : 


indeed, as regards popularity, if that be taken as an 
earnest, they should, perhaps, be given the first place. 
In them we do not find the poetry of the Ballades 
or Etudes, nor do we find, to any great extent, the 
national colour of the Mazurkas; but, on the other 
hand, they are of exceptional value to us, if only 
because they demonstrate to a greater degree than 
any others of his works the bright and lightsome vein 
of his muse. Under Opus numbers, ranging from 
18 to 70, we find thirteen Waltzes, of which ten were 
published during the composer's lifetime, besides 
which we have two more posthumous Waltzes with- 
out any Opus number. The first, Op. 18 in A flat, is 
a pure dance, the spirit of lightness prevailing. On 
arriving at the section in B flat minor, we get, 
perhaps, a somewhat more sombre shade, but it 
only lasts during these sixteen bars, and is greatly 
counteracted by the sprightliness of the appoggiatur. 
Notice the similarity between this section of the 
Waltz and the second part of the second Nocturne 
of Op. 32. Particularly exhilarating are the last 
sixty-four bars, commencing poco a poco crescendo, 
and working up in speed towards the end up to 


the last bar but twelve, when the repeated quaver 
figure gradually grows fainter and fainter, until the 
tonic chord sf is reached. The Op. 34 is, perhaps, 
more important from an aesthetic point of view, while 
it is certainly one of the most played, and, conse- 
quently, most abused of any. The second of the 
same Opus is not so important, and is in a much 
more melancholy vein. No. 1 of Op. 64 in D flat 
has obtained the name of the Valse du Petit Chien, 
owing to Chopin having composed it, as illustrative 
of the frantic efforts of Madame Sand's little dog to 
succeed in catching its own tail. The story goes, 
that one evening, as they were watching the pro- 
ceeding, Madame Sand suggested it to Chopin for 
musical treatment, and he at once sat down to the 
piano and improvised this Waltz in D flat. 

No. 2 of this Opus is one of the most delightful. 
It has an additional charm from its minor tonality, 
and especially delicate is the piu mosso portion in 
C sharp minor. Then what a beautiful contrast we 
get from the enharmonic change into D flat major, 
with its passionate and flowing melody, one of the 
most voluptuous pieces Chopin has written. In 


No. 3 of the Opus there is a falling off in material, 
although its treatment is replete with delicacy. 
Decidedly the most notable portion is that in C 
major in the middle section. This is most virile, 
and almost reminds us of that turn of the composer's 
genius which is exemplified in the Polonaises. 

In the remaining Waltzes, published after his 
death, there is neither much that is new, nor is their 
value to be compared with those we have named. 
Perhaps the best of the posthumous Waltzes is No. 3 
of Op. 70, in G flat, which is remarkable for its easy 
writing, and the intense amount of movement and 
life contained in it. Inasmuch as these works are, 
for the most part, essentially of the ball-room, they 
are not to be put on a similar level as, for ex- 
ample, the Ballades or Preludes; but, on the other 
hand, they are as much superior to all other music 
of the kind as the Scherzo in B flat minor and the 
Ballade in G minor, for instance, are superior to 
them. Throughout they are distinguished by an 
elegance and exquisite clarity which make them 
as nearly as possible perfect. 


In November 1848 Chopin wrote the following letter 
to his friend Grzymala : — 

* My dearest Friend, — For the past eighteen days — that 
is, since my arrival in London — I have been ill, and have suf- 
fered from such a severe cold in my head (together with head- 
ache, difficulty in breathing), in fact, all my bad symptoms, that 
I have not been able to get out of doors. The doctor sees me 
daily, and has so far succeeded in restoring me, that yesterday 
I was able to take part in the Polish concert and ball, 
returning home, however, as soon as ever I was able to leave. 
Throughout the night I got no sleep, and suffered, besides my 
cough and asthma, from the most violent headache. So far 
the fog has not been so very bad, and I have been able to 
open the windows of my rooms, notwithstanding the intense 
cold. I am now living at 4 St. James's Street, and have for 
my regular daily visitors, the excellent Szulczewski, Broad- 
wood, Mrs. Erskine, who followed me here in company with 
Mr. Stirling, and especially Prince Alexander and his wife. 
... I am not yet able to return to Paris, although I am 
always thinking of how I can manage to get there. In these 
apartments, which for an ordinarily healthy man would be 
well enough, I cannot remain, although the situation is good, 


and they are not dear (four and a half guineas a week), they 
are close to those of Lord Stuart, who has only just left me. 
I shall probably take up my quarters with him, as his rooms 
are much larger, and in them I shall be able to breathe more 
freely. Nevertheless, you might inquire, please, whether there 
are not somewhere on the Boulevards, in the neighbourhood 
of the Rue de la Paix, or the Rue Royale, apartments to be 
had on the first floor, with windows facing the south, or even 
in the Rue des Mathurins, but not in the Rue Godot, or any 

such gloomy narrow street Why I should trouble 

you with all this I do not know, for I really do not care 
about anything. Although I do not think I ever cursed any 
one before, I am now so overcome by the very weariness of 
life, that I am ready to curse Lucrezia. 1 But she suffers 
also, the more so, as every day she grows older in her 
wickedness. Alas ! everything is going wrong ; but it is no 
use troubling about me ; I cannot be more wretched than I 
am, and there is no chance of my being less so. I await 
patiently the end. If you find suitable apartments, let me 
know at once, but do not, until then, give up the old ones. 
— Ever yours, Frederic' 

The abject despondency of this letter is truly 
affecting. The concert to which he refers in connec- 
tion with the Polish ball, seems only to have been a 
very secondary portion of the whole entertainment, 
and he was decidedly ill-advised to have taken part 

1 He evidently refers to George Sand. 


in it, for, as Mr. Hueffer very truly says, ' The people, 
hot from dancing, who went into the room where he 
played, were but little in the humour to pay attention, 
and only anxious to return to their amusement.' 
Moreover, no matter how unreservedly they had 
given themselves up to it, the result could not have 
been but disappointing, as he was in such a state of 
exhaustion as to be physically incapable of interpret- 
ing his artistic meaning. Although, as we have seen 
from his last letter to Grzymala in November, Chopin 
was then anxious to return to Paris, he did not leave 
London until the following January. The last letter 
he wrote to this friend in English soil contains the 
news of his intended departure : — ' To-day I have been 
down almost the whole day, but on Thursday I am to 
leave this terrible London. I shall probably sleep on 
Thursday night at Boulogne, but shall hope on the 
night following to be in my bed in the Place d'Orleans. 
In addition to my other ailments, I have now got 
neuralgia. Tell Madame Etienne to spare no pains 
to make the place warm and comfortable when I 
arrive ; also tell Pleyel to send me a piano on Thurs- 
day, and please see that some violets be bought, so 


that there may be a nice fragrance in the room. I 
should like, also, to find some books of poetry in my 
bedroom, as I shall in all probability be confined 
therein for some time. On Friday evening, then, you 
may expect me in Paris; a day longer here, and I 
should go mad or die. My Scotch lady friends are 
good, but tiresome ; they have so attached themselves 
to me that I find it impossible to get rid of them. 
Have all the rooms well warmed and dusted — perhaps 
I may get well again.' 

How thoroughly typical of the consumptive patient 
is the last sentence. It is one of the many merciful 
provisions of Providence that, up to the very last, 
hope never dies within them. And it is something to 
be thankful for that this hope was never absent in 
Chopin's case. Up to the very end he looked for a 
future in this world. It is more than probable that 
his sojourn amidst us during that winter season did 
not a little to aggravate the fell disease, while we 
can take it for certain that, to the cruel desertion 
of him by the woman on whom he had pinned his 
faith, is due the hastening of the end. Chopin 
was now no longer able to teach, and was obliged 


to maintain, almost entirely, a recumbent position. 
To add to his troubles lie was at the same time 
dealt a heavy blow by the death of his physician, 
Dr. Molin, in whom he placed great confidence, 
and to whom he looked as his support. Says 
Liszt : — ' He felt his loss keenly — nay, it brought a 
profound discouragement with it ... he persuaded 
himself that no one could replace the trusted physi- 
cian, and he had no confidence in anv other. 
Dissatisfied with them all, without any hope from their 
skill, he changed them constantly, and a kind of 
superstitious depression seized him.' He now learned 
that his dear friend Titus "Woyciechowski was at 
Ostend ; to him he writes : — ' Nothing but my being 
so severely ill as I am should prevent me from 
hastening to you at Ostend ; nevertheless I trust that, 
by the goodness of God, you may be permitted to 
come to me. The doctors will not allow me to travel. 
I am confined to my room, and am drinking Pyrenean 
water, but your presence would do me more good 
than all these medicines.' This letter was written 
towards the end of August from the Place d'Orleans, 
but from these rooms he was removed to more open 


and suitable quarters in the Rue Chaillot. Ever 
improvident, the money which he had made in England 
had gone, and he himself knew not how. His friends 
were in despair for him, and at a loss how to over- 
come this very substantial difficulty. Franchomme, 
who had always advised him in money matters, took 
counsel with some few of the composer's intimates, and 
ultimately decided to let his staunch friend and pupil, 
Miss Stirling, know of her master's deplorable position. 
And to her credit be it said that no sooner was she 
made aware of the facts of the case, than she im- 
mediately responded in the shape of a sum of francs — 
25,000. Concerning her generosity all his biographers 
are agreed, but with respect to the circumstances 
surrounding it there are several stories told. The 
correct one is probably that told by Professor 
Niecks, who states that it was Madame Rubio, also 
a pupil of Chopin's, who was the one to acquaint 
Miss Stirling with the facts of the case, and that she 
was amazed at the news, having some short time 
previously sent her master 25,000 francs, which she 
addressed and sealed in a shop, in order that he 
should be ignorant of the identity of the sender. 


Also, that the packet was eventually discovered in a 
clock in the room of the portiere, who having for- 
gotten to hand it in the first place to Chopin, feared 
to do so afterwards, and allowed it to remain there. 
Madame Rubio avers that Chopin kept only 1000 
francs of the money, and returned the rest to Miss 
Stirling, while Franchomme's version is that the 
master retained 12,000 francs. At all events, of the 
great generosity of his pupil there can be no ques- 
tion. Perhaps we should state, for what it is 
worth, that there had been rumours that this lady 
was deeply enamoured of her master, and that they 
were about to be married ; but there was absolutely 
no foundation for such a report, and we can only 
treat it as idle gossip. 

Nor was this the only example of friendliness 
held out to Chopin in his time of need. The 
apartments in the Rue Chaillot were considerably 
more expensive than those in the Place d'Orleans; 
but this was carefully kept from the invalid by 
those around him, as was also the fact that 
his friend, the Comtesse ObreskofY, paid one-half 
of the rent. From a letter to Franchomme 


we see that even another change became necessary, 
for he says : — ' I am less well rather than better. 
MM. Cruveille, Louis, and Blache have had a con- 
sultation, and have come to the conclusion that I 
ought not to travel, but only to take lodgings in the 
south and remain in Paris. After much seeking, very 
dear apartments, combining all the necessary condi- 
tions, have been found in the Place Vendome, No. 12/ 
Accordingly, after a stay of only six weeks in the Rue 
Chaillot, we find him located in the Place Vendome. 

His relations in Poland had now to be apprised of 
his condition, and his sister, Madame Louisa Jedrze- 
jewicz, accompanied by her husband and daughter, 
left Poland for Paris. Once beside him, his sister 
never left him for a moment. His dearest friend 
and pupil, Gutmann, was also now constantly with 
him, and both friend and sister felt that the end 
was not far off. On the 15th October his friend, 
the Comtesse Delphine Potocka, arrived in Paris, 
having hastened from Nice, where she was at the 
time, directly she heard of the master's illness. 
No sooner was he made aware of her presence than 
he implored her to sing to him. Says Liszt : ' Who 


could have ventured to oppose his wish ? The 
piano was rolled to the door of his chamber, while 
with sobs in her voice and tears streaming down 
her cheeks his gifted countrywoman sang. She 
sang that famous Canticle to the Virgin, which, it 
is said, once saved the life of Stradella. "How 
beautiful it is ! " he exclaimed. " My God, how very 
beautiful ! Again, again ! " Though overwhelmed 
with emotion, the countess had the noble courage 
to comply with the last wish of a friend and com- 
patriot : she again took a seat at the piano, and sang 
a hymn from Marcello. Chopin now feeling worse; 
everybody was seized with fright ; by a spontaneous 
impulse all who were present threw themselves 
upon their knees — no one ventured to speak ; the 
sacred silence was only broken by the voice of the 
singer floating like a melody from heaven, above 
the sighs and sobs which formed its mournful 
earth accompaniment.' Since the publication of 
Professor Niecks's biography, considerable doubt must 
be felt as to the accuracy of Liszt's statement touch- 
ing upon what the lady sang; for he states that 
1 Gutmann positively asserted that she sang a psalm 


by Marcello, and an air by Pergolesi, while Fran- 
chomme insisted on her having sung an air from 
Bellini's Beatrice di Tenda, and that only once, and 
nothing else.' We know that both the authors of 
these statements were present, whereas Liszt was not ; 
but while that leaves no doubt as to the incorrect- 
ness of the Abbe in this particular, it does not help 
us in deciding between the relative statements of the 
two witnesses. This, of course, is impossible, as there 
is nothing whatever to guide us to a trustworthy 
decision. To Professor Niecks, also, do we owe much 
of interest concerning these last hours of the master, 
inasmuch as he has brought to light much new 
testimony of a further witness, M. Gavard, who 
relates how, on the day following, Chopin called 
around him those friends who were with him in his 
apartment. To the Princess Czartoryska and Mile. 
Gavard, he said : ' You will play together ; you will 
think of me, and I shall listen to you.' Beckoning 
to Franchomme, he said to the princess, ' I recom- 
mend Franchomme to you ; you will play Mozart 
together, and I shall listen to you ! ' 

And all this time, the reader may ask, ' Where was 


the woman who had sworn that he should die in no 
arms but hers ? Was she so far lost to all human 
feeling and decency as not even to appear to show 
some interest in the man to whom she had professed 
so much, and from whom life was now so rapidly 
passing ? ' On this point, again, the evidence left to 
us is conflicting, so contradictory are the versions 
of those upon whom we are dependent. M. Gavard 
asserts that a certain lady, whom he calls Madame 
M., came in the name of George Sand to inquire after 
Chopin's health. Gutmann differs from him widely. 
' George Sand,' he says, ' came herself to the landing 
of the staircase, and desired to be allowed to see 
Chopin, but that he strongly advised her against 
such a course, deeming it liable to disastrously 
affect the patient.' In either case the result was the 
same as regards Chopin, for he was kept in com- 
plete ignorance of any action on the part of 
Madame Sand. How keenly he felt her desertion 
is shown by the fact that, only two days before his 
death, in speaking of her to Franchomme, he said : 
' Elle m'avait dit que je ne mourrais que dans ses 
bras.' How well he was cared for, and how much 


devotion and tenderness were lavished upon him, 
we can judge from another letter of M. Gavard, 
quoted by Professor Niecks, in which he says : — ' In 
the back room lay the poor sufferer, tormented by 
fits of breathlessness, and only sitting in bed resting 
in the arms of a friend could he procure air for his 
oppressed lungs. It was Gutmann, the strongest 
amongst us, who knew best how to manage the 
patient, and who mostly thus supported him. At 
the head of his bed sat the Princess Czartoryska: 
she never left him, guessing his most secret wishes, 
nursing him like a Sister of Mercy with a serene 
countenance which did not betray her deep sorrow. 
Other friends gave a helping hand or relieved her, — 
everyone according to his power ; but most of them 
stayed in the two adjoining rooms. Everyone had 
assumed a part; everyone helped as much as he 
could — one ran to the doctor's, to the apothecary; 
another introduced the persons asked for; a third 
shut the door on the intruders.' 

But, alas ! the door was not to be shut upon the 
greatest of all intruders, and on the evening of the 
16th October the Abbe Alexander Jelowicki, the 


Polish priest, was sent for, as Chopin, saying that 
he had not confessed for many years, wished to do so 
now. After the confession was over, and the absolu- 
tion pronounced, Chopin, embracing his confessor, 
exclaimed, ' Thanks 3 thanks to you, I shall not now 
die like a pig.' The same evening two doctors 
examined him. His difficulty in breathing now 
seemed intense: but on being asked whether he 
still suffered, he replied, 'No longer.' His face had 
already assumed the pure serenity of death, and 
every minute was expected to be the last. Just 
before the end — at two o'clock on the morning of 
the 17th — he drank some wine handed to him by 
Gutmann, who held the glass to his lips. 'Cher ami!' 
he said, and, kissing his faithful pupil's hand, he died. 
' He died as he had lived,' says Liszt, ' in loving.' 

Knowing how great a lover of flowers he had 
been, the floral tributes sent by his friends were 
many and beautiful. * He seemed to repose in a bed 
of roses,' says Liszt. The press was unanimous in 
its expression of sorrow on the great loss sustained 
by art in the death of the master. The funeral, 
owing to the elaborate preparations which were made 


in connection with it, did not take place until the 
30th of October. The service was held at the 
Madeleine, and Mozart's Kequiem was performed, 
for the better execution of which an exception was 
made, and female singers were allowed to take part 
in the rendering. For a further account of the 
ceremony, we shall quote from the notice which 
appeared in the Musical World of November 10th, 
1849 : — ' The ceremony, which took place on Tuesday 
(the 30th ult.) at noon in the Church of the 
Madeleine, was one of the most imposing we ever 
remember to have witnessed. The great door of 
the church was hung with black curtains, with the 
initials of the deceased, " F. C," emblazoned in silver. 
... At noon the service began. The orchestra and 
chorus (both from the Conservatoire, with M. Gerard 
as conductor), and the principal singers (Madame 
Viardot-Garcia, Madame Castellan, Signor Lablache, 
and M. Alexis Dupont) were placed at the extreme 
end of the church, a black drapery concealing them 
from view. When the service commenced the 
drapery was partially withdrawn, and exposed the 
male executants to view, concealing the women, 


whose presence, being uncanonical, was being felt, 
not seen. A solemn March was then struck up 
by the band, during the performance of which the 
coffin, containing the body of the deceased, was 
slowly carried up the middle of the nave. . . The 
March that accompanied the body to the mausoleum 
was Chopin's own composition from his first piano- 
forte Sonata, 1 instrumented for the orchestra by M. 
Henri Reber. During the ceremony, M. Lefebure- 
Wely, organist of the Madeleine, performed two of 
Chopin's Preludes upon the organ. 2 . . . After the 
service, M. Wely played a Voluntary, introducing 
themes from Chopin's compositions, while the crowd 
dispersed with decorous gravity. The coffin was then 
carried from the church, all along the Boulevards, to 
the cemetery of Pere-Lachaise — a distance of three 
miles, at least — Meyerbeer and the other chief 
mourners, who held the cords, walking bareheaded. 
... At Pere-Lachaise, in one of the most secluded 
spots near the tombs of Habeneck and Marie 
Milanollo, the coffin was deposited in a newly-made 
grave. . . . The ceremony was performed in silence.' 

1 The Op. 35, the first then published. 2 Nos. 4 and 6. 


We also gather from other authorities that the 
number of people assembled in the Madeleine 
amounted to some three thousand, all of whom 
were present by special invitation. Amongst the 
pall-bearers were Princes Adam and Alexander Czar- 
toryski, Eugene Delacroix, Meyerbeer, Franchomme, 
and Gutmann ; while, perhaps, the names of Bellini, 
Cherubini, Boieldieu, and Gretry, whose graves were 
also in close proximity, are more important than 
those quoted in the notice above given. 

It has been frequently stated that Chopin ex- 
pressed a wish to be buried beside Bellini, but 
this, according to Gutmann, was not so. The 
same authority also denies that his master desired 
the performance of Mozart's Kequiem at his funeral. 
We should not omit to state that the Polish earth 
given to the young musician on quitting his native 
land, some nineteen years before, by his friends, was 
buried with him, being sprinkled over the coffin as it 
was lowered into the grave, and that his heart was 
taken to, and preserved in, the Holy Cross Church 
at Warsaw. 

The visitor to Pere-Lachaise will now find his rest- 



ing-place marked by a handsome monument, erected 
by subscription, and executed by M. Clesinger, whom 
we know as the husband of Madame Sand's daughter 
Solange. It consists of a pedestal, which supports 
a mourning muse, with a lyre in her hand; on the 
front of the pedestal is a medallion. It was unveiled 
on the first anniversary of Chopin's death, and bears 
the inscription: 'Frederic Chopin, ne en Pologne a 
Zelazowa Wola, pres de Yarsovie: Fils d'un emigre 
francais, marie a Mile. Krzyzanowska, fille d'un 
gentilhomme Polonais.' 

Thus was the last earthly tribute paid to one who, 
if he laboured not in the larger fields of his art, did, 
in his exquisite miniatures, leave us so much of his 
own personality as to form an ever-living monument 
of the genius and the man. 


Having followed poor Chopin to his last resting 
place, little remains for us to do, save to glance at 
those compositions of which we have not yet spoken. 
Foremost amongst these are the Berceuse, Op. 57 ; 
and the Barcarolle, Op. 60. Both are masterpieces 
in their way, and both are — as their Opus numbers 
would lead us to expect — in the master's later manner. 
The basis of the Berceuse is the rocking figure for 
the left hand. Upon this the whole of the super- 
structure is built. The phrase, which is the very 
essence of dreaminess, consists simply of tonic and 
dominant harmony, and continues throughout the 

piece, with the exception of the twelfth and thirteenth 
bars, in which it is supplanted for the moment by 


that of the sub -dominant. The rhythm also is the 
same, never differing from that which we have illus- 
trated. Here is the soothsome melody upon which 
Chopin brings to bear all his infinite variety and 
ingenuity of workmanship : — 

The lavish and minute elaboration of this theme 
quite defies all attempts at description, yet never for 
one moment does it frustrate the composer's intention. 
We can readily imagine the child being rocked to 
sleep in the arms of its nurse, and the last eight bars 
would even seem to depict how she herself, after 
having soothed her charge, was obliged to succumb 
to the influence of the melody. Never was music 
written more happily bearing out its title. 

In the Barcarolle we have, perhaps, the only suc- 
cessful attempt by Chopin at what is commonly called 
local colour. After three bars of introduction, the 
accompanying theme in the bass is introduced, and 
although its use is not continuous, as was the case in 
the Berceuse, it may be said to form the whole basis of 


the Cantilena. The principal theme is announced 
after two bars of the accompaniment figures played 
aloud, and ten bars later is brought to a full close on 
the dominant C sharp. Then follows an exquisite 
little codetta, which is a few bars later repeated in the 
key of the sub-dominant. We then have the original 
theme in F sharp slightly elaborated, and followed in 
turn by the codetta in the tonic key. At the poco 
piu mosso are four bars modulating from F sharp to 
A minor, in which latter key we have an episode. 
This portion of the work affords an artistic contrast 
to the matter both preceding and following it. Mr. 
Niecks quotes a flowery description by Tausig of the 
Barcarolle, which, he says, the virtuoso imagined to 
be descriptive of two lovers in a gondola. That a 
duologue is taking place, he assumes to be evident 
from the use of the thirds and sixths, and the dualism 
which is maintained throughout. At the modula- 
tion to C sharp, which occurs in the interlude lead- 
ing from the tributary of the A major episode to 
the initial theme in F sharp, he conjures up the 
picture of the two lovers embracing, which he takes 
to be the more emphasised by the marking of the 


passage clolce sfogata — softly breathed-out. The 
picture is a pretty one, and there can be no doubt 
that some such idea was in the composer's mind at 
the time he wrote it. Nevertheless, no word-picture 
can convey the many subtleties which the piece 
contains. We can only get an adequate idea of them 
by listening to its perfect interpretation. It is 
essentially a piece which impresses at a first hearing. 
The only works now remaining which we propose to 
consider, are the Rondo, Op. 73 ; and the Seventeen 
Polish Songs, Op. 74, — both posthumous publications. 
The Rondo for two pianofortes is in C major, and in 
the master's early manner. It is essentially a c showy ' 
composition, and affords much opportunity for the 
display of mechanical dexterity. The first piano 
opens with an introductory, four bars of ascending 
semiquaver figures, to which the second instrument 
replies with four bars of sostenuto chords. The 
leading theme of the Rondo is brilliant, and the 
musical matter equally divided between the two 
instruments. It is well contrasted with the second 
theme in A minor, which is much more pensive in 
character. This second theme affords much scope 


for brilliant accompaniment by the other instrument, 
a fact which is not lost sight of by the composer, and 
of which he takes the fullest advantage, so much so, 
that the ornamental passage work forms the most 
interesting feature of the piece, which is totally 
lacking in that originality of thought and design 
which is so abundant in Chopin's later efforts. 
The work is seldom heard in public now, and the 
only important performance of it which we can call 
to mind took place at Messrs. Chappell's popular 
concert on January 15th, 1877, when it was admirably 
played by Miss Agnes Zimmermann and Mile. Marie 
Krebs. It can in no way be considered as fairly 
representative of its composer. 

Under Op. number 74 were published by Julius 
Fontana the only songs Chopin wrote. The Opus 
contains seventeen Polish songs composed from 1824- 
1844, to words supplied chiefly by the poets 
Mickiewicz and Witwicki. The melodies are essen- 
tially national, and are seldom subjected by the 
composer to anything in the way of development. 
Those which have most claim in this direction, and 
which, to our mind, form the most interesting numbers 



of the collection, are Nos. 3, 6, 12, and 16. 
Especially noticeable in some of these is a decided 
influence of Bellini, while in others there is 
present much that is in common with the German 
lied. On contemplating them we have no difficulty 
in comprehending Schumann, when he said that 
Chopin, in his melodies, leant sometimes over Germany 
towards Italy. The Andantino espvessivo of No. 6, 
Mir aits den Blicken, might have been written by 
Bellini, so much does it contain that is reminiscent of 
him. No. 3 is exquisitely sad. Note in it the 
following bar,* the effect of which strikes the English 
ear as decidedly peculiar. 

There are not wanting in these vocal compositions 
reminiscences of some of the instrumental works. 


As prominent examples of this, note the introductory 
bars to Nos. 1 and 14. Specially illustrative of the 
' national ' detail in them is the use of the augmented 
fourth degree of the scale — vide bar 9 in No. 2, and 
the interlude in No. 4; while amongst those which 
are national, rather in the spirit than the letter, we 
should mention Nos. 2, 4, 7, 13, and 17. The last 
of these has been called Poland's dirge. 

Karasowski describes how Chopin, in his youth, 
imbibed these Polish national melodies : — c When on 
an excursion with his father to the suburbs, or spend- 
ing his holidays in the country, he always listened 
attentively to the song of the reaper, and the tune of 
the peasant fiddler, fixing in his memory and delight- 
ing to idealise those frequently original and expressive 
melodies. He often wondered who was the creator of 
the beautiful melodies interwoven in the Mazurkas, 
Cracoviennes, and Polonaises, and how the Polish 
peasants learnt to sing and play the violin with 
such purity. No one could give him any information. 
Indeed, both the words and melodies of these songs 
are the creation of several minds. An artless spon- 
taneous melody poured forth by one person is altered 


and perhaps improved by another, and so passes from 
mouth to mouth till finally it becomes a possession of 
the people. Slavonic folk-songs differ greatly from 
the Germanic ; they are historical records of the feel- 
ings, customs, and character of the people.' 

We have now contemplated all the more important 
works from Chopin's pen, and of the work of 
all the greater masters of music none are more 
conflicting. It would be going too far to assert 
that the primary qualities of his genius were evenly 
balanced with his primary faults. Yet what is 
this dissatisfaction which we feel ? In the breadth 
and brilliance of his conception, the energy and 
sweep of his imagination, his power of dealing with 
the subtleties of music he is unsurpassed amongst 
the masters of his art. Thoroughly subjective, his 
work is saturate in his own personality. He stands 
alone amongst musicians, and his compositions are a 
distinct musical literature in themselves. Yet over 
all is the fragrance, not of nature, but of the hot- 
house. Even his Ballades and his Scherzos, which we 
may term the f fine-flower' of his genius, have not 
escaped its influence. Moreover, in much of his work 


his mannerisms are discomfortably glaring, and yet, 
while he is frequently artificial, he has the wonderful 
faculty of never appearing to be so. Of all his composi- 
tions, the most characteristic and individual are those 
in which he has given his invention full swing, and 
allowed his fancy to play its maddest pranks. His 
empire is essentially over the imagination and the 
passions, and he is the very antipodes of those artists 
— pensive and sedately self-contained — such as were, 
for instance, Beethoven and Mendelssohn. Were it 
not for Berlioz we might fitly call Frederic Chopin 
the 'Hugo of music,' just as Delacroix was called 
the 'Hugo of painting.' But now we come to the 
strangest point of all, for with his ideas, his theories 
of art, his natural bent, one and all, in sympathy 
with romanticism, the works of such leaders of the 
romantic school as Berlioz and Schumann were in 
many instances repugnant to him, and while he him- 
self threw off all the fetters of classicism, his god 
was Mozart ! When we know this, it is easy to 
understand that the compositions of Franz Liszt 
found little favour in his eyes. For there is a dis- 
tinction even amongst the greatest romanticists. As 


well compare Liszt with Schumann, as Victor Hugo 
with Alfred de Musset. Liszt 'wandered' without 
reason, Chopin, when he did wander, had generally, if 
not reason, justification for it. Liszt, — at all events 
as regards composition, — was a poseur ; a man who, 
having taken up a certain attitude in his art, was 
determined to stick to it at all costs — a man who 
affected musical composition, and the best of whose 
pianoforte compositions can only be deemed of worth 
as tending to develop the technique of the player. A 
truly wonderful interpreter and adapter of other 
men's creations, but no creator. Chopin was, like 
Heine, c a man angry until death with the shallow 
forms and conventionalities possessed no longer of 
any spiritual import,' and, in common with Heine, he 
has demonstrated in his work a formal fragmentari- 
ness which is by no means wholly distinct from 
completeness. His aim was ever to write music 
capable of expressing a definite emotion. This in it- 
self, when carried to any great extent, is sufficient to 
lead to the loss of the highest beauty of ' form,' for 
the obvious reason that the means to this emotional 
colouring, — such as the use of vivid harmonies, 


numerous chromatic and enharmonic modulations, 
and a consequent shifting tonality, — are in themselves 
opposed to the laws of regular ' form.' In a word, his 
music is poetic as opposed to tonic. This poetic 
emotional expression, and the artistic sense of tonic 
beauty are respectively the two distinct ingredients of 
the romantic and the classic schools, and it seems to 
us that any music which displays great achievement 
in either direction justifies its existence, and that the 
art itself is the gainer thereby. Nevertheless, it is 
when we get these two essentials combined in artistic 
unison that the highest attainment of music is 
realised. And this we may safely say we do get 
— if only in isolated instances — in the music of 
Frederic Chopin. It is safe to say that there will be 
always enthusiastic upholders of both the classic and 
romantic schools ; but that the partisans of the re- 
spective schools should — as an American critic has 
recently said — proceed as if the matter were to be 
settled by the ' Marquis of Queensberry ' rules is 
surely unnecessary and ridiculous. We cannot believe 
that the true enthusiast in art is so egotistical and 
stubborn as not to admit good music when he hears 


it, no matter to what school it may belong. The only 
good which we can see likely to arise from such 
discussions is that interest in the art is perhaps 
stimulated thereby. Take, for instance, what is 
commonly called 'Programme-music' This has of 
late given rise to an enormous amount of arguing for 
and against its existence. There are some people who 
deny the existence of music from which they cannot 
obtain a ' clear definition.' There are others who say 
that to expect such a thing is absurd — that the 
sphere of music is in sensuous perception, while the 
sphere of poetry is in intelligence. There is, of course, 
much to be said on both sides, and as regards 
Frederic Chopin, he undoubtedly did write much 
that can be called Programme -music ; but with 
this distinction — that he did not make it a sine 
qua non that his listeners should follow his 'pro- 
gramme.' His nature was so subjective that his 
musical utterances were for the most part illustrative 
of definite emotions and events in his mind at the 
time. Does this necessarily detract from the value of 
his work as music per se ? Undoubtedly, as we have 
before said, a much higher meaning and fuller com- 


prehension, and consequently a deeper artistic ap- 
preciation, is there for him who can find the key to 
their emotional basis. But apart from that altogether, 
they are still works of art. It is in his intensity of 
feeling that the magic of his music lies, and this, 
which is human nature, must make itself felt by all, 
whether classicist or romanticist. He had faults, no 
doubt, and we trust we have not shrunk from pointing- 
out such as seemed to us^ to mar in any way the 
aesthetic effect of his work. But, on the other hand, 
the beauties to be noticed in his works are innumer- 
able. And whatever may be said for or against his 
artistic methods, the fact remains that he left the 
world richer by far than he found it. 


I. — Those with Opus Number Published during his Lifetime. 


Date of 








Rondo for pianoforte 

C minor 

Madame de Linde 



Variations for pianoforte, 
with orchestral accom- 
paniment on La ci dar- 
em la mano 

B major 

M. Woyciechowski 



Introduction and Polon- 
aise for pianoforte and 

C major 

M. Joseph Merk 



Rondo a la Mazurka 

F major 

Mile, la Comtesse 
Alexandrine de Mo- 



Four Mazurkas for piano- 

F sharp minor 

Mile, la Comtesse 


C sharp minor 
E major 
E flat major 

Pauline Plater 



Five Mazurkas for piano- 

B major 
A minor 
F minor 
A flat major 
C major 

M. Johns 



First Trio for pianoforte, 
violin, and violoncello 

G minor 

Prince Antoine Rad- 



Three Nocturnes 

B flat minor 
E flat major 
B major 

Mme. Camille Pleyel 



Twelve Grand Studies 

C major 
A minor 
E major 
C sharp minor 
G flat major 
E flat minor 

M. Franz Liszt 


list of chopin's published works 

Date of 








Twelve Grand Studies — 

C major 
F major 
F minor 
A flat major 
E flat major 
C minor 

M. Franz Liszt 



Grand Concerto for 
pianoforte and orches- 

E minor 

M. Fr. Kalkbrenner 



Variations for pianoforte 
on the favourite Rondo 
of Herold Je vends des 

B major 

Miss Emma Horsford 



Grand Fantasia on Polish 
Airs for piano and or- 

A major 

Mr. F. P. Pixis 



Krakowiak, Grand Con- 
cert Rondo for piano 
and orchestra 

F major 

Mme. la Princesse 
Adam Czartoryska 



Three Nocturnes 

F major 

F sharp major 

G minor 

M. Ferd. Hiller 



Rondo for pianoforte 

E flat major 

Mile. Caroline Hart- 



Four Mazurkas for piano- 

B flat major 
E minor 
A flat major 
A minor 

Mme. Lina Freppa 



Grand Waltz for piano- 
Bolero for pianoforte 

E flat major 

Miss Laura Horsford 



C major 

Mile, la Comtesse 

E. de Flahault 



First Scherzo for piano- 

B minor 

Mr. T. Albrecht 



Second Concerto for 
pianoforte and orches- 

F minor 

Mme. la Comtesse 
Delphine Potocka 



Grand Polonaise pre- 
ceded by Andante 

E flat major 

Mme. la Baronne 



Ballade for pianoforte 

G minor 

Baron Stockhausen 



Four Mazurkas for piano- 

G minor 

M. le Comte de 


C major 
A flat major 
B minor 





Date of 








Twelve Studies 

A flat major 
F minor 
F major 
A minor 
E minor 
G sharp minor 
C sharp minor 
D flat major 
G flat major 
B minor 
A minor 
C minor 

Mme. la Comtesse 



Two Polonaises for piano- 

C sharp minor 
E flat minor 

M. J. Dessauer 



Two Nocturnes for piano- 

C sharp minor 

Mme. la Comtesse 


D flat major 




Twenty-four Preludes for 

M. Camille Pleyel (in 
German edition to 
Mr. J. C. Kessler) 



Impromptu for pianoforte 

A flat major 

Mile, la Comtesse de 



Four Mazurkas for piano- 

C minor 

Mme. la Princesse de 


B minor 
D flat major 
C sharp minor 




Second Scherzo for piano- 

B flat minor 

Mile, la Comtesse 
Adele de Fiirsten- 



Two Nocturnes for piano- 

B major 

Mme. la Baronne de 


A flat major 




Four Mazurkas for piano- 

G sharp minor 

Mile, la Comtesse 


D major 
C major 
B minor 




Three Waltzes for piano- 

A flat major to 

A minor to 
F major to 


Mme. G. d'lvri 
Mile. A. d'Eichthal 



Sonata for pianoforte 

B flat minor 

.. . 



Second Impromptu for 

F sharp major 




Two Nocturnes for piano- 

G minor 
G major 




Second Ballade for piano- 

F major 

M. Robert Schumann 




























Third Scherzo for piano- 

Two Polonaises for piano- 

Four Mazurkas for piano- 

Waltz for pianoforte 
Tarentella for pianoforte 
Polonaise for pianoforte 

Prelude for pianoforte 

Concert Allegro for 

Third Ballade for piano- 

Two Nocturnes for piano- 

Fantasia for pianoforte 

Three Mazurkas for 

Allegro Vivace, Third 
Impromptu for piano- 

Fourth Ballade for the 

Eighth Polonaise for the 

Fourth Scherzo for the 

Two Nocturnes for the 

Three Mazurkas for the 

Berceuse for pianoforte 
Sonata for the pianoforte 

Three Mazurkas 


C sharp minor 

A major 
C minor 
C sharp minor 
E minor 
B major 
A flat major 
A flat major 
A flat major 
F sharp minor 

C sharp minor 

A major 

A flat major 

C minor 

F sharp minor 

F minor 

G major 
A flat major 
C sharp minor 
G flat major 

F minor 

A flat major 

E major 

F minor 
E flat major 
B major 
C major 
C minor 
D flat major 
B minor 

A minor 
A flat major 
F sharp minor 

M. A. Gutmann 
M. J. Fontana 
M. E. Witwicki 

Mme. la Princesse 

Charles de Beauva 
Mile, la Princesse 
Mile. F. Miiller 

Mile. P. de Noailles 

Mile. L. Duperr6 

Mme. la Princesse ( 

de Souzzo 
M. Leon Szmitkowsl 

Mme. la Comtess 
Esterhazy . 

Mme. la Baronne ( 

de Rothschild 
M. A. Leo 

Mile. J. de Caramai 

Mile. J. W. Stirling 

Mile. C. Maberly 

Mile. Elise Gavard 
Mme. la Comtesse I 
de Perthuis 

list of chopin's published works 


Date of 









Barcarolle for the piano- 

F sharp minor 

Mme. la Baronne 



Polonaise Fantasia for 
the pianoforte 

A flat major 

Mme. A. Veyret 



Two Nocturnes for the 

B major 
E major 

Mile. R. de Kbuneritz 



Three Mazurkas for the 

B major 

Mme. la Comtesse 


F minor 

C sharp minor 




Three Waltzes for the 

D flat major 
C sharp minor 
A flat major 

Mme. la Comtesse 

Mme. la Baronne de 

Mme. la Baronne 




Sonata for pianoforte and 

G minor 

M. A. Franchomme 

II. — Those Published without Opus Number during the 
Composer's Life. 






Grand Duet Concertante for pianoforte and violon- 
cello, on themes from Robert the Devil 

Three Studies for the pianoforte 

Variations on Bellini's March from / Puritani 
Mazurka for pianoforte 

E major 

F minor 

A flat major 

1) flat major 

E major 

A minor 

u 2 


III. — Those Published Posthumously with Opus Number. 











Date of 

Date of 





















> » 











J f 







Dates ranging 


from 1829-1847 


Sonata for pianoforte 
Fantasia-Impromptu for piano- 
Four Mazurkas for pianoforte 

Four Mazurkas for pianoforte 

Two Waltzes for pianoforte 
Three Waltzes for pianoforte 

Three Polonaises for pianoforte 

Nocturne for pianoforte 
Marche Funebre for pianoforte 
Three Ecossaises for pianoforte 

Rondo for Two pianofortes 
Seventeen Polish Songs 


C minor 

C sharp minor 

G major 
G minor 
C major 
A minor 
C major 
A minor 
F major 
F minor 
F minor 
B minor 
G flat major 
F minor 
D flat major 
D minor 
B flat major 
F minor 
E minor 
C minor 

D major, G major, 
and D flat major 
C major 


— Those Published Posthumously without Opus Number. 

Date of 

Date of 









Variations on a German Air, for pianoforte 

E major 


Mazurka for pianoforte 

G major 


Do. do. 

B flat major 


Do. do. 

D major 


A revised version of the preceding Mazurka 

D major 


Mazurka for pianoforte 

C major 


Do. do. 

A minor 



Waltz for the pianoforte 

E minor 

1822 (?) 


Polonaise for the pianoforte 

G sharp minor 



Polonaise for pianoforte (published by B. 
Schott & Sons) 

G flat major 


Polonaise for pianoforte 

B flat minor 



Waltz for pianoforte 

E major 



If the number of times of performance of the different works 
at Messrs. Chappell's Monday and Saturday Concerts can in any 
way be taken as evidence of their popularity, the following list 
may prove interesting. It contains all those works of Chopin 
performed more than once at these concerts from February 14th, 
1859, to March 23rd, 1891 :— 


Barcarolle in F sharp minor, Op. 60, 

Introduction and Polonaise, Op. 3, 

Ballade in G minor, Op. 23, . 

Impromptu in F sharp major, Op. 36, 

Ballade in A flat, .... 

Scherzo in B flat minor, Op. 31, 

Polonaise in F sharp minor, Op. 44, 

Polonaise in A flat major, Op. 53, 

Scherzo in B minor, Op. 20, . 

Nocturne in D flat, Op. 27, . 

Sonata in B minor, Op. 58, . 

Fantasia in F minor, Op. 49, 

Trio in G minor (violin, violoncello, piano), Op. 8 

Sonata in G minor (piano and 'cello), Op. 65, 

Nocturne in F minor, Op. 55, 

Nocturne in E major, Op. 62, 

Andante Spianato and Polonaise, Op. 22, 

Ballade in F minor, Op. 52, . 

Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57, 

Sonata in B flat minor, Op. 35, 

Valse in A flat major, Op. 42, 

Rondo for two pianofortes, Op. 73 

Allegro de Concert, Op. 46, . 

Nocturne in F major, Op. 15, 

Nocturne in C minor, Op. 48, 

Nocturne in C sharp minor, . 

Valse in C sharp minor, Op. 64, 

Valse in E minor (posthumous), 

Number of times 
of performance. 




Actor, Chopin as an, 24. 
Alard, M., 259. 
Alboni, 269. 

Alia Polacca, for violoncello, 71. 
Allegro de Concert, the, 248. 
Ancestry of Chopin, 1-12. 
Anecdote about Chopin, 45-47. 
Ashdown, Messrs., 239. 
Athenceum and C.'s mazurkas, 57 ; 
and Chopin, 261-266. 

Bach, E., 74. 

Baillot the violinist, 117. 

Balearic Islands, G. Sand and 

Chopin at, 183-8, 197-203. 
Ballads by Chopin, 142, 166-174, 

203, 224, 233, 273, 298. 
Balzac, 24. 

Barcarolle, the, 258, 291-4. 
Barcinski 27 
Beethoven, 94, 98, 114, 145, 228-9, 

Bellini, Vincent, 141, 176, 296. 
Benedict, Sir J., 260. 
Bennett, Mr. Jos., 15. 
Berceuse, the, 107, 290-4; in D 

flat major, 240, 258. 
Berger, Ludwig, 42. 
Berlin, Chopin at, 39-44. 
Berlioz, H., 110, 111, 140, 179, 

260, 299. 
Blahetka, 62, 66, 67 ; Miss, 68. 
Blessington, Lady, 259, 260. 
Bliithner, 239. 
Bolero, the, 142. 
Breitkopf and Hartel, vii. 
Breslau, Chopin at, 87, 88. 
Broadwood, H. F., 267. 

Broadwood, Jas., 183, 237, 260, 

266, 274. 
Brodzinski, C, 25, 56. 

Capriccio, the. See Scherzo. 

Caricature, Chopin's love of, 44. 

Catalani, Mme., 19. 

Cauviere, Dr., 213. 

Celinski, 53, 61. 

Cherubim, 112. 

Chopin, F. F., ancestry of, 6-12 
birth of, 13 ; early days, 14-20 
character of, in boyhood, 21-23 
at school, 24 ; powers of im- 
provisation, 26-30, 47-52 ; first 
work, 30-32, 35, 36 ; at Reinerz, 
32 ; and Prince Radziwill, 33, 
34 ; polonaises by, 37-38, 203-212; 
visits Berlin, 39-44; love of carica- 
ture, 44 ; anecdote of, at Posen, 
45-47 ; at Vienna, 61-66, 87-97 ; 
in Warsaw, 72-73 ; at Paris, 97- 
98, 110-121, 130-144, 183; musical 
ideas, 99 ; love affairs of, 152-9 ; 
and George Sand, 160-6, 178- 
188, 197-203, 213-224, 240-5, 
252-8, 271, 272; ballades, 166- 
174; preludes by, 189-196; as 
a pianist, 232-9 ; in London, 
259-266, 274-7; illness and death 
of, 280-6 ; funeral service and 
burial of, 287-290; as a com- 
poser, 298-303. See also Letters, 
Works, etc. 

Nicholas, 2, 7-20, 24, 25, 155. 

Emilia, 19, 32. 

Chorley, Mr. (of The Athenceum), 
57, 261-6. 



Clementi, 74. 

Clesinger, the sculptor, 254-6, 290. 

Mme. (George Sand's 

daughter), 254-6. 
Comedy written by Chopin, 24. 
Concerto in E minor, 86, 97, 98, 

100-9 ; in F minor, 69, 72, 89, 

98-109, 117. 
Concerts, in Vienna, 63-66, 96 ; at 

Warsaw, 30, 31, 72-73, 86; at 

Pleydel's rooms, 233. See also 

Edinburgh, London, Paris, etc. 
Constantine, Grand Duke, 16. 
Cracow, 61. 
Cramer and C. , 267. 
Criticism, Chopin and newspaper, 

Czartoryski, Prince, 16. 

Princess, 283-285. 

Czerny, 66, 94-95. 

D'Agoult, Countess, 181, 219. 
Damoreau-Cinti, Mme., 232. 
Davison, Mr. J. W., 183. 
Devrient, Chas., 68. 
Dobrzynski, F., 53. 
Dorn, H., 159. 
Dresden, 67, 68. 

Dudevant, Mme. C. See Sand, G. 
Dupin, Mile. Aurore. See Sand, 

Dziewanowski family, the, 25, 26. 

Edinburgh, Chopin at, 266-7. 
Eisner, Joseph, 17-19, 87, 90, 114- 

116, 204. 
Erard, 260. 

Ernst, H. (violinist), 232. 
Erskine, Mrs. , 274. 
Etudes by Chopin, 73-82, 102-3, 

142, 233, 235, 265. 

Falmouth, Lord, 261. 

Fantasia on Polish airs, 73, 86, 97, 

98, 107, 224. 
Fantasia-Impromptu, 247-251. 
Fetis, F. (the critic), 118. 

Field, John, 135-8 ; Nocturnes by, 

Fingering, methods of, 76-77, 116, 

Fontana, Julius, 37, 53, 122, 206, 

213, 217, 219-221, 226, 242, 295. 
Franchomme, the violoncellist, 112, 

121, 233, 253, 256, 259, 279, 

283-5, 289. 
Frederick n. and the Poles, 6. 

Gallenberg, Count, 62, 90. 
Garcia, Mme. V., 233, 289. 
Garzia- Vestris, Mme., 96. 
Gavard, M., 283-5. 
Getard, M., 287. 
Gladkowska, C, 68-71, 86, 93-94, 

Gounod's Faust, 149. 
Grabowski, Jos., 153. 
Grzymala Albert, 22, 266, 274-7. 
Gutmann, 167, 190, 260, 270, 281, 

284, 286, 289. 
Gyrowetz, A., 15. 

Habeneck, 141. 

Hanslick, Dr., 236. 

Haslinger (music publisher), 61, 

62, 66, 89, 90, 94. 
Herz Brothers, 131, 
Hiller, 112, 118, 121, 131, 139, 

140, 176-7. 
Hipkins, A. J., 267. 
Hube, 53, 61. 
Hueffer, Mr., 276. 
Hummel, 90, 93, 99. 

Impromptus, by Chopin, 142, 

224, 244-7. 
Improvisation, Chopin's powers 

of, 26-30, 47, 48-52; Polish 

National Airs, 73. 
Indiana, by G. Sand, 164, 165. 

JAOELLON, dynasty, the, 3-5. 
Jarocki, Dr., 39-41. 
Jedrzejewicz, Mme., 281. 
Jelowicki, Abbe, 285-6. 
Jesuits in Poland, 4, 5. 



Kalkbrenner, 112-117. 
Karasowski, 10, 21-23, 25-30, 

156-9, 256, 297-8. 
Klengel, Alex., 67, 88. 
Klind worth, M., 168. 
Kolberg, Wm., 32. 
Kreutzer, 66. 
Krzyzanowska, J., 11. 
Kumelski, 97. 
Kurpinski, Chas., 18. 

Lachner, 66. 

Lanner, 95. 

Leipzig, Chopin at, 159, 160. 

Leo, Mme., 242-3. 

Letters of Chopin, 42-44, 83-86, 

119; to parents, 39-42. See also 

Eisner, Grzymala, Kolberg, 

Woyciechowski, etc. 
Liebenfrost, Dr., 93. 
Lind, Mme. Jenny, 260-1. 
Linde, Dr. Saml. , 25, 35. 
Liszt and Chopin, 21-24, 31, 69, 

75, 112, 121, 131-2, 141, 177, 

178, 180, 231-3, 236-9, 243, 278, 

281-4, 286, 299, 300. 
London, Chopin in, 182-3, 259- 

266, 274-7. 
Lubecki, Prince, 16. 

Maciejowski, 53, 61. 

Macready, 260. 

Malfatti, Dr., 94. 

Mallorca, George Sand and Cho- 
pin at, 183-8, 197-203. 

Manchester, Chopin at, 268, 

Marche funebre, 225, 238. 

Marienbad, Chopin at, 156-9. 

Marseilles, Chopin at, 213-215. 

Mathias, M., 176. 

Matuszynski, John, 53, 91-3 ; M., 

Mazurkas, 54-58, 136-7, 142, 207-9, 
224, 240. 

Mechetti (publisher), 94. 

Meier, Mme. , 72, 73. 

Mendelssohn, similarity between 
Chopin and, 41, 42 ; letters of, 

43; 98, 112, 118, 138-140, 145, 
299 ; Lied Ohne Worte, 80. 

Meyerbeer, 178, 288-9. 

Mikuli, 168. 

Mimicry, Chopin's talent for, 24. 

Molin, Dr., 278. 

Mondi, Mile, di, 259, 261. 

Morlacchi, C, 68. 

Moscheles, 138, 223. 

Mozart, 114; Concerto form of, 98. 

Munich, Chopin at, 97. 

Musical World, The, 287. 

Musset, Alfred de, and G. Sand, 
165, 181-2. 

Nidecki, Thos., 53, 93. 

Niecks, Professor, vi., 81, 121, 137, 

190, 226, 253, 279, 282-3, 285, 

Nocturnes by Chopin, 122-130, 

142, 240, 245, 271. 
Nohant, George Sand at, 215-223, 

Norblin, the cellist, 116. 
Nourrit, Adolphe, 214, 215. 
Nowakowski, J., 53, 73. 

Ober6w, village of, 26. 
Obreskoff, Comtesse, 280. 
Orlowski, 132. 

Paer, F., the composer, 112, 

Paganini, 40 ; at Prague, 67. 
Palma, journey from, 202-3. 
Papet, Dr., 216. 
Paris, Chopin at, 97, 98, 110-121, 

130-144, 183, 240; concert in, 

Pedals, pianoforte, 237-9. 
Piano-playing, the art of, 75-78 ; 

Chopin's style of, 234-6, 262-3 ; 

pedals, 237-9. 
Pixis, Fredk., 67, 119. 
Pleyel (pianoforte manufacturer), 

140, 182, 183, 197, 233, 239, 258, 

260, 276. 
Poland, 3-9, 243-4 ; insurrection 

in, 91. 



Polish national airs, 73, 86, 97 ; 

songs, 294-8. 
Polonaises, in G sharp, 30; op. 3, 

36-7 ; in B flat major, F minor, 

D minor, 37, 38, 94, 142, 203- 

212, 224. 
Posen, Chopin at, 45-47. 
Potocka, Comtesse, 281- 
Prague, 67. 
Preludes by Chopin, 189-196, 207, 

Proctor, Mrs., 260. 
Published Works of Chopin, 305, 

Publishers of Chopin's works, 239, 


Radziwill, Prince, 16, 23, 24, 33, 

34, 36, 40, 42, 70, 71, 120, 

Rastrelli, Vincent, 88. 
Reber, H., 288. 
Reinerz in Silesia, 32, 33. 
Rellstab, H., 122-3, 136, 138. 
Richards, Brinley, 239. 
Ries, 115. 
Roger, M., 259. 
Rolla, the violinist, 88. 
Rollinat, F., 202. 
Romecki, M., 26, 27. 
Rondo, in C minor, 30, 35 ; in F 

major, 54 ; op. 73, 294. 
Rondo Krakowiak, 64, 65, 72-3. 
Rossini, 112 ; Tarantella by, 

Rothschilds, the, 121, 131. 
Rubina, 88, 112. 
Rubio, Mme., 279, 280. 

Sand, George, 22, 49, 153, 154 
first meeting with Chopin, 160-6 
at Mallorca, 178-188, 197-203 
at Nohant, 213-224, 240-4, 252-8, 
272, 275, 284. 

Sandeau, Jules, and G. Sand, 

Sartoris, Mrs., 261. 

Schadow, F. W., 139, 140. 

Scharwenka, X. , 168. 

Scherzos, the, 142-151, 203, 224, 

265, 273, 298. 
Schlesinger's Library, 40. 
Schnabel, C, 87. 
Schubert's Les Astres, 215. 
Schumann, Robt., 36-37, 43, 48,49, 

60, 75,76, 159, 167, 171, 175, 176, 

248, 296, 299. 
Schwabe, Mr. and Mrs. , 269. 
Scotland, Chopin in, 266-270. 
Skarbek, Count F., 10-13, 25, 

Sloper, Lindsay, 239. 
Sonatas by Chopin, 54, 223-231, 

259, 288. 
Songs by Chopin, 294-8. 
Spiridion, by George Sand, 201. 
Spohr, 115, 204. 
Spontini, 42. 
Steinway, 239. 
Stirling, Mr., 274. 
Miss, 279, 280. 

Stoepel, Dr., 140. 

Strauss, 95. 

Studies (Twelve), by Chopin, 73- 

82, 102-3, 142, 233, 235, 265. 
Stuttgart, Chopin at, 97. 
Sutherland, Duchess of, 260. 
Szafarnia (village), 25, 26. 
Szulczewski, 274. 

Tarantella, the, 224, 248. 
Tempo rubato, the, 234-9. 
Thackeray, W. M., 260. 
The Mistake, a Comedy, 24. 
Title of Chopin family, the original, 

2, 3. 
Torphichen, Lord, 266. 
Trio for piano, violin, etc., in G 

minor, 58-60. 

Variations by Chopin, 36, 62, 

64, 65, 89, 117. 
Viardot Garcia, 233, 289. 
Vienna, Chopin at, 61-66, 87-97. 
Von Humboldt, Alex., 40. 

Wagner, Rd., 220, 245; letters 
of, 43. 



Waltzes, 69, 95, 156, 240, 244-251, 

Warsaw, 8, 9, 16, 30, 31, 52, 68, 

72-3, 86. 
Weber, 204. 
Wely, M., 288. 
Wiesiolawska, Mme., 33. 
W 7 izytek Church, 47, 48. 
Wodzinska, Maria, 154-158. 
Wodzinski, Count, 27, 154-8. 
Wolicki, Archbishop, 45. 
Wood, C. W. , Letters from Majorca, 


Wood, Mr. George, 267. 

Works of Chopin, List of, 305-311. 
See also Ballades, Berceuse, 
Impromptus, Nocturnes, Po- 
lonaises, Preludes, Scherzos, 
Sonatas, Songs, Studies, Waltzes, 

Woyciechowski, Titus, 53, 63, 68, 
87, 91, 92, 113-116, 119, 152, 

Wiirfel, 62, 67. 

Zywny, A., 14, 31. 

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